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Hybridising Scentscapes

Design Researchers in Residence ‚Äď 2023/24

Location The Dame Sylvia Crowe Garden, the Design Museum
Opening 21 June 2024

Hybridising Scentscapes is a piece of botanical design research currently unfolding in the Design Museum's Dame Sylvia Crowe Garden. It continues work undertaken by Eliza Collin during her residency at the Design Museum/Future Observatory in 2023/24.

Whilst investigating how the scent of plants around the world are changing due to climate change, Eliza identified research exploring how some members of the Brassicaseae family’s scent are affected by pollution whilst others remain unaffected. To explore the potential for these different species of Brassicaseae to hybridise and become more resilient to changing climates, Collin and her collaborators Aterraterra have planted a variety of Brassicaeseae and other seeds to be grown and analysed over three years.

Eliza’s interview with FABIO ARANZULLA AND LUCA CINQUEMANI, June 2024

Some of the plants in the plot will change their scent when they are exposed to London's air pollution. When a plant changes its scent, this can have a negative impact on its relationship with pollinators and puts it at risk of extinction. Other plants in the plot do not change their scent under these conditions. By planting the different flowers together, this plot has been designed to encourage hybridisation. This is a process where two different species mix to produce a new hybrid plant which may be more resilient to changing climates.

 

The plot was planted in June 2024 and is being monitored by Collin and Design Museum volunteers as part of the Growing Together project.

Planting scheme designed by Eliza Collin and Mandy Lee. Drawing by Mandy lee. ©Eliza Collin and Mandy Lee
key for planting scheme. ©Eliza Collin and Mandy Lee

Brassicaceae seed list: Other:
1. Sinapis arvensis 1. Agrostemma githago
2. ‚Ā†Brassica rapa 2. Borago officinalis
3. Brassica juncea (ATT) 3. Calendula spp.
4. brassica oleracea (ATT) 4. Campanula
5. Brassica napus 5. Cichorium intybus
6. Raphanus raphanistrum 6. Coriandrum sativum
7. Raphanus raphanistrum subspecies maritimus 7. Cosmos bipinnatus
8. Brassica carinata 8. Eschscholzia californica
9. Brassica nigra 9. Fagopyrum esculentum
10. Sinapis alba 10. Leucanthemum vulgare
11. Eruca sativa 11. Monarda spp
12. Nigella spp.
13. Oenothera biennis
14. Phacelia tanacetifolia
15. Scabiosa spp.
16. Silene latifolia
17. Trifolium pratense
18. Trifolium repens
19. Vicia sativa

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Aterraterra

FABIO ARANZULLA AND LUCA CINQUEMANI