Site: London, UK (2011)
Partners: Kings College, Tate Modern, The Peter de Haan Trust, Living Medicine, Publica, Bankside Open Spaces Trust, Openvizor, and many other cultural and community partnerships.
The Urban Physic Garden (UPG) promotes the healing power of plants and food as medicine. An international non-profit, UPG creates public gardens of living medicine that educate, inspire and engage communities,through educational programming, participatory experiences and design-driven green spaces.
In the Summer of 2011, Wayward developed the first iteration of UPG – transforming a derelict site in central London, with the help of nearly 200 volunteers. This was the prototype - an imaginative urban garden shaped by the hospital and pharmacy, that focused on medicinal plants and herbs that heal, providing a platform for artists, designers, gardeners and health practitioners to explore the role of plants in science, health, wellbeing and the environment.
The garden was host to international artist, performance and writing commissions including original immersive theatre and the UK premiere of Skart’s Serbian Pavilion from the 2010 Venice Biennale, as well as innovative education programming and exhibitions in food, sustainability, plants, health and medicine. UPG became the subject of international press and was shortlisted for the Royal Institute of British Architect’s Forgotten Spaces competition. Icon Magazine included the UPG in their Highlights of 2011, and Monocle Magazine featured the garden in their review of the Best Urban Farm Projects. The Urban Physic Garden has since toured Southeast Asia and Europe with the British Council. In 2016, The Landscape Institute gave UPG its prestigious award, the first time a temporary project garnered the prize.
In 2016, UPG became a 501(c)3 charity established through a partnership between Wayward and the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago. Flagship gardens and other initiatives are in development for the US and UK.