CCL in Action: Gaja Meznaric Osole Permanent Meetings, Slovenia

Trajna srečanja: Kreativne skupnosti o podnebni pravičnosti / Permanent Meetings – creative communities on climate justice – Gaja Mežnarić Osole, designer, Slovenia

Gaja is a designer, working in cross-disciplinary fields between design, ecology and participation. Through various interdisciplinary projects she explores ways of practicing design by embedding current societal needs as well as possibilities that have emerged from economical crisis and environmental depletion.

Supported by a CCL in Action grant, Gaja organised a series of three workshops in Ljubljana for designers and independent creators. The workshops explored the intersections between environmental challenges, economic imbalances, and the precarity of creative self-employment with the aim of creating a mutually supportive community of creative professionals addressing current ecological, economic, or social issues. It is hoped this community will grow into a sustainable network sharing resources and knowledge, empowering individual projects. Themes that were explored included community economies, planetary boundaries, and integrating ecosystems into design projects. Guest speakers included Izidor Ostan Ozbolt, a member of the Environmental Action Committee of the Iskra Student Society. Expert mentorship was provided by PiNA.

Gaja currently runs an NGO Trajna with her working partner Andrej Koruza. Their main interest lies in exploring multispecies dynamics by introducing new management strategies to invasive alien plants. They are currently a partner in a circular economy project led by the City of Ljubljana funded through the European Regional Development Fund Urban Innovative Actions called APPLAUSE: Alien PLAnt SpEcies – from harmful to useful with citizens’ led activities. Working with the City of Ljubljana, waste management company SNAGA, the Pulp and Paper Institute, and others they initiated several R&D projects, through which they look for the useful properties of invasive plant species as a basis for setting up new circular economies. One of the outcomes of Gaja and Andrej’s creative research is a new paper alternative made from the invasive Japanese knotweed, which was launched in 2019 under the Notweed Paper brand.

NotWeed Paper: www.notweedpaper.com

Permanent Meetings: https://trajna.com/sl/trajna-srecanja-kako-nagovarjati-podnebno-pravicnost/

APPLAUSE: https://www.uia-initiative.eu/en/uia-cities/ljubljana