Part of our remit is to embed skills in growing and sustainability into the curriculum at UCL. Students in the anthropology department have been using qualitative and qualitative methods to explore different facets of sustainable food and health. They carried out their own independent research to explore the ways the current UCL Campus (encompassing its material spaces, students and workforce) facilitates sustainable food and health in order to develop recommendations of how to achieve an edible campus.
Read more about their projects, findings and recommendations below.
LET THE OUTSIDE IN. HOW DO UCL STUDENTS USE GREEN SPACES AROUND CAMPUS?
Emma Hudson, Angi Tang & Zhitong Li (Anthropology)
This project aimed to explore how students use existing green spaces around campus. We wanted to understand if UCL provides adequate green spaces that benefit the health and wellbeing of students.
STUDENT DISENGAGEMENT IN SUSTAINABILITY AT UCL: EXPLORING DIFFERENCES IN SUSTAINABILITY ENGAGEMENT BETWEEN STEM AND HUMANITY STUDENTS
Charlie Willcox, Joe Houghton, Livia Sapere, Yasmin Owens, Maya Edwards, Mustafa Almi’ani (Anthropology)
The way in which sustainability is integrated into higher education can have an effect on student engagement across disciplines. Previous research suggests that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) students conceptualise sustainability in environmentally-centric ways whilst humanities students favour a community focused and system change approach due to their respective courses (Fisher and McAdams 2015). We explored if this difference between disciplines could be observed in UCL students’ engagement in sustainability.
WHAT EXPERIENCE DO UCL STUDENTS AND STAFF HAVE OF GROWING THEIR OWN FOOD/PLANTS?
Laurie Allan, Mariyam fawzik, Edda Karnejevec, Nina Todres (Anthropology)
This project aimed to determine what experience UCL staff and students have of growing their own food/plants through interviews. We intended to find out the reasons as to why UCL students/staff did or did not grow plants. The data gathered was used to generate ideas for a greener UCL campus. Overall, we wanted to explore the theme of sustainable food growth and its application in urban spaces, such as the UCL campus.
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN UCL STUDENTS’ LIFE EXPERIENCE AND PLANT KNOWLEDGE?
This project explored what the impact of life experience was on UCL students’ plant knowledge? We aimed to investigate the relationship between plant knowledge and age, frequency of gardening and degree faculty.
CALMING, THERAPEUTIC OR CHAOTIC? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF OUR CAMPUS?
Teoné Burridge, Deli Weeks, Hawwa Faruque & Alana Byrd (Anthropology)
We wanted to determine the range of UCL spaces that improve students' mental wellbeing through participant-led photography walks. We investigated student attitudes toward such spaces through supplementary discussion.
SEMI-BOGUS … BUILT FOR PURPOSE! HOW HAVE THERAPEUTIC SPACES BEEN INCORPORATED INTO UCL’S EXISTING ARCHITECTURE?
Daria Duda, Christian East & Valentina Venelli (Anthropology)
We used photography as a medium to discover what therapeutic spaces already exist within the UCL Campus. We also documented how students determined what spaces were therapeutic and how they engaged with them.
DO UCL STAFF GROW? WHAT ENABLES AND INHIBITS THE GROWING OF PLANTS AMONGST STAFF?
Poppy Lefroy-Brooks, Yasmin Farha, Anushri Sharma, Kristina Wolf (Anthropology)
This project explored what experience UCL staff have of growing their own food/plants. We aimed to understand what enables and inhibits UCL staff from growing plants in order to inform the creation of a sustainable "edible" campus.
WHO’S RESPONSIBLE?HOW DO UCL STUDENTS ENACT SUSTAINABILITY IN HALLS OF RESIDENCE?
Ellie Beaumont, Jessica Blunden, Christian Cain, Karin Dominko, Mariyam Giash,Jennifer Markham, and Jordan Wroe (Anthropology)
This project aimed to uncover students in halls of residence’s sustainability practices and perspectives on sustainability. We wanted to understand UCL’s institutional perspective and operationalisation of sustainable practices in halls of residence and explore the relationship between residents of UCL accommodation and the institution of UCL, in terms of sustainability perspectives and engagement.
UCL’S GREEN FINGERS: WHAT KIND OF COMMUNITY IS GENERATED THROUGH COMMUNITY
Neha Zadef, Naomi Hansen, Chuanzi Gao, Mina Lalic, Khira Henry, Young Kwon (Anthropology)
This project aimed to understand the bonds created between members of UCL's Bentham Farm (UCL Urban Farmers Society) and the Institute of Education gardens. We wanted to uncover how daily lives are influenced by the gardens and the wider implications of UCL community gardens.
HOW WELL ARE UCL STUDENTS ABLE TO IDENTIFY PLANTS?
This project examined the relationship between UCL students and the plants around campus. We wanted to see if their ability to identify these plants changes based on their upbringing or the degree faculty they are in. We explored if participation in extracurricular activities influenced student's ability to identify plants and if this was different based on their exposure to biodiverse environments.
UCL’S SUPERFICIAL SUSTAINABILITY IMAGE
Genevieve Lewis, Tilly Vanderbyl, Poonam Menger, Zak Hussain, Raphael Ardani (Anthropology)
We aimed to explore the opinions of UCL students on sustainability on their campus. We used one-to-one interviews with five research participants who all attend UCL and were in their second year of study at the time of interview. A combination of drawing-based responses and semi-structured responses were recorded.
HOW OUR BUILT ENVIRONMENT AFFECTS THE PSYCHE: THE CLINICAL "THERAPEUTIC" SPACES AT UCL
Holly Busfield, Angela Dai, and Jazmine De Grasse (Anthropology)
Edible College London is concerned with how the current UCL Campus facilitates
sustainable food and health. We interpreted "sustainable health" as
maintaining and improving physical and mental health in some way. Our specific research question was "How have
therapeutic spaces been incorporated into UCL's existing architecture?". We understood "therapeutic spaces" as self-defined spaces that made us relaxed, felt healing (socially, mentally, or physically), or were just pleasant to be in.