grOCAD are a group of students, faculty and staff who are working together to integrate plant life to our everyday experience by cultivating areas in and around OCAD’s campus. The group’s aim is to increase healthy food accessibility, encourage discourse about how plants improve quality of life and heighten awareness to urban agricultural practices. Members who took part in the [Re]2 exhibition were: Tom Doughty, Alyssa Haggstrom, Hendrik Dannys, Heather Evelyn, Laura Headley and Emily Rourke.
For the [RE]2 conference, grOCAD created an affective environment, immersing visitors in a humidified, verdant structure that holds and displays moss in an intimate way. Noting that Toronto in the winter is generally inhospitable to mosses, the aim was to build a suitable environment to keep it, and allow people to interact with it closely. Mimicking the ecological niche of mosses as a soil builder and ‘pioneer’ species on barren environments, the sheer faces of the wooden structure were made hospitable to life through the mosses gentle green carpeting.
grOCAD members have researched the mosses that form part of Ontario’s ecosystems, and presented photo-documentation and samples on wall space. This part of the exhibit looked at the diverse species of mosses that have filtered air, built soil, and helped traditional peoples for generations in Southern Ontario.
Photo Credit: Laura Headley