The Green Room: opening the door to a global garden
16 June 2010
This summer a special UCL project set in the period gardens surrounding the Geffrye Museum opens to the public.
The Green Room is a project created by MA students from UCL's Institute of Archaeology in collaboration with the staff at the Geffrye Museum in London, to celebrate and document the story of the museum's historic buildings and gardens during a period of major development.
The centrepiece of the project will be a special exhibition in the gardens exploring how the space has been used over time, integrating local history with global influences (particularly in terms of plants), and setting it in a wider social and cultural context.
For centuries, public and private gardens have been used for pleasure, profit and utility. The unique history of the Geffrye gardens reflects the changing ways in which urban dwellers view green spaces, and how gardens are framed by our daily lives. The inspiration for the exhibition is the 'green room', the space in the theatre where actors can compose themselves before the show.
An extensive programme of events aimed at all ages has been devised to accompany the exhibition which runs from June to September. Activities include creative workshops, cultural events, educational activities and historical games. In addition, a series of innovative online resources has been created to support the project.
"We are very pleased to undertake the project at the Geffrye with the support of the Institute of Archaeology," said UCL student Magda Buchzyk. "It has allowed us to evaluate and develop innovative, cutting-edge interpretation techniques, while at the same time popularising and preserving these unique and valuable gardens."
Christine Lalumia, Deputy Director of the Geffrye, said: "The partnership between the museum and students will result in a lasting legacy for the museum in terms of resources and new ideas about reaching out to the public."
The exhibition will demonstrate just how valuable this urban green space is, and the accompanying programme of events and creative workshops for all the family will provide endless ways to pass lazy summer afternoons, sunshine permitting. To listen to a soundcape featuring Christine Lalumia, the UCL students and the Geffrye Museum visitors involved in the project, please click on the player below:Listen!
Image above: Young girl investigating garden plants
The UCL Institute of Archaeology first opened in 1937 and is one of the largest and most diverse archaeological departments in the world. In addition to core areas of archaeological theory and practice, the Institute is a leading centre for research and teaching in interdisciplinary fields such as Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies.