With the talk Invasive plants: Threats for Nature or an Opportprojecty for Papermaking? we will be a part of IAPMA 2018 Congress. This years’ event is entitled Paper: Conscience & Coinsciousness and will be dedicated to exploring our responsibility as artists working with paper by evaluating our role over its final form and content. Within our talk we will focus on introducing the global problem of invasive plants and the opportprojecties which arise by recognising the value of their abundant biomass. We will speak about our intentions to spread the use of the fibrous weed as a means to promote the hidden craft of hand paper-making and raise consciousness about sustainable ways of living within our novel ecosystems. We will present Trajna’s partnership with the City of Ljubljana to initiate a circular economy project by designing a series of wood and paper products from locally harvested invasive plants.

The talk will take place on Friday, 18. May at Hotel Ramada in Sofia, Bulgaria.

We are proud to announce, we are part of the APPLAUSE (Alien PLAnt SpEcies) project that got funded under the UIA (Urban Innovative Actions) initiative for circular economy projects! For the next three years we’ll be developing solutions regarding invasive alien plant species management by initiating new circular economies and the zero-waste approach. The project will be led by the City of Ljubljana in a partnership with Public Waste company Snaga, Universty of Ljubljana, company Tisa d.o.o., Institute Jožef Stefan, Association Tipo Renesansa and other partners on the project.

Symbiocene Events: Friday, 29 September at 7 PM

In this final event of the Symbiocene exhibition, the exhibition authors will hold an auction of unique furniture made from the biomass of invasive plants from the Ljubljana area. The auction will take place in the group’s workshop, where various objects made from invasive plants can be seen. The objects demonstrate the different stages involved in processing plant-based raw materials into final products.

If you want to furnish your home or office with handmade furniture that will remind you of the need to nurture the relationship between humankind and nature, then with some clever bidding and a bit of luck you can become the happy owner of an exhibition piece. Chairs, a bench and a worktable made from the invasive tree of heaven, or cushions featuring the natural colours of the equally invasive goldenrod, will be available already this Friday at 19.00 in MAO.

Proceeds from the auction will be used to finance the further development of Symbiocene. Anyone interested in this commprojecty project is welcome to participate.

Symbiocene Events: Tuesday, September 26th at 5PM

The last lecture in the context of Symbiocene, which highlights two interesting practices that serve to show the roles, challenges and potentials related to trees in modern, urban environments, will be hosted by Ingo Vetter, a member of the Tree of Heaven Woodshop creative collective, and Lena Marion, an arborist and representative of Tisa, one of the most successful companies in Slovenia dealing with tree maintenance and cultivation.

Detroit Tree of Heaven Woodshop
Ingo Vetter

In 2005, Mitch Cope, Ingo Vetter and Annette Weisser founded the Detroit Tree of Heaven Woodshop. The Woodshop works exclusively with wood processed from the Tree of Heaven, a seemingly endless resource in the Detroit area. Also known as the “ghetto palm”, this plant (Ailanthus altissima) thrives in abandoned lots and deserted factory sites all over Detroit. By conventional standards it’s a poor quality wood, but the artists look at it as a post-industrial resource, and take advantage of its veritable ubiquity. The Woodshop is set up as a loosely organized network of local specialists and develops artworks and commissions for international museums and galleries.

Ingo Vetter, artist and professor for sculpture at the University of the Arts Bremen, Germany, will present the work of the woodshop and current developments back in in Detroit.

More information:

The Role of Trees in Urban Environments
Lena Marion

The lecture will address the role and importance of trees in the urban environment. Different views and thoughts on urban trees will be presented, as well as the various challenges encountered by tree keepers. We will also try to answer the question, how each of us can contribute to the preservation of urban trees.

Tisa d.o.o. looks back at almost 40 years of tradition in arboriculture. The company offers a full range of arborist services (pruning, cutting, planting, consultancy, diagnostics, setting up of tree cadastre) all over Slovenia.

Lena Marion studied forestry and then went on to specialize in urban trees. Her services include full tree diagnostics and consultations on the state and maintenance of trees and related necessary actions. She is an ISA-Certified Arborist and is ISA-Tree Risk Assessment Qualified, and is also a member of the International Society of Arboriculture, the American Society of Consulting Arborists, and the Slovenian Society of Arboriculture.

Tisa d.o.o., Cesta v Prod 84, 1000 Ljubljana, www.tisa.si
Lena Marion, lena.marion@tisa.si, + 386 51 380 180

The lecture will be held in English (Ingo Vetter) and Slovenian (Lena Marion).

After the talk in the museum attic we will visit the beehives in the park and demonstrate a regular checking-up on of the hives.

Symbiocene events: Wednesday, September 20th at 5pm

The next Symbiocene event, with guests Gorazd Trušnovec, urban beekeeper and architect, and designer Brina Fekonja will focus on the roles and potentials of urban beekeeping from the perspective of design and sustainable urbanism.

Urban Beekeeping: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
Gorazd Trušnovec

The history of urban beekeeping goes way back. An integral connection between people and bees has been present ever since people started to be aware of the way they inhabited the planet. It is hardly surprising then that the oldest archaeological evidence related to organized (human) beekeeping was discovered inside an urban dwelling in the Jordan Valley more than 3000 years old. The first beehives in Ljubljana were set up more than 100 years ago in Šentvid, Trnovo and Bežigrad, which back then were just rural suburbs but were gradually, through post-war urbanization, “adopted” by Ljubljana. On a global scale, urban beekeeping has become more visible and organized over the last three decades, and came to Slovenia only a few years ago, in parallel with contemporary notions of self-sufficiency and urban greening movements. The lecture will focus on the history of the connections between the urban environment and beekeeping, highlight various examples of good practice, and point out the potentials such activity has in our contemporary urban environments.

Gorazd Trušnovec is a filmmaker, architect and author. In recent years he has been focused on the theory and practice of urban beekeeping. He is the founder of the Urban Beekeeper Society.

Build your own beehive
Brina Fekonja

The project presents a concept for an experimental stackable beehive for individual use in an urban environment. The beehive is made of cardboard and can be recycled. Users can assemble it on their own using simple tools and by following the instructions provided. The beehive is the result of her practical work for her diploma thesis Beekeeping in Urban Environments. The lecture will deal with beehive prototypes.

Brina Fekonja is a graduate of industrial design at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. She is interested in the way design influences individuals and society, and how it connects with other areas, particularly social responsibility, ecology, sustainable future, social issues and commprojecties.

The lecture will be held in Slovenian.

After the talk in the museum attic we will visit the beehives in the park and demonstrate a regular checking-up on of the hives.

Symbiocene events: Wednesday, September 13th at 5pm

The essence of permaculture lies in systemic planning, meaning that ecology, economy, social systems and education are combined in order to provide answers to the needs of both people and nature. This integrated approach allows us to optimize the use of resources necessary to implement an idea and to consider everyone involved. The basis for planning is the ethics of permaculture. From the perspective of permaculture invasive species represent an untapped resource. Through the niches they occupy in the nature world the state of the environment can be observed and the causes for their particular success explored. An understanding of the underlying ecological processes at work can help us develop methods for managing invasive species and in so doing reduce their negative impact on people and the environment.

The purpose of this workshop is to learn more about permaculture and to find new uses for invasive species with the help it can provide. We will use knotweed and tree of heaven to build insect hotels, homes for wild bees and wasps, and learn about ecological concepts such as biodiversity and succession.

Primož Turnšek is a microbiologist and the president of the Permaculture Association of Slovenia. The association’s main aim is to provide education on permaculture, to support individuals and organizations in developing permaculture systems, and to serve as a platform for ecologists, people involved with permaculture and others who believe that people can coexist with nature and with each other.

As part of the lecture, the Laboratory of Extended Living research group will present the results of their research into the diverse range of practical values of Japanese knotweed, which was conducted throughout its growing season. The findings and the research process both will be presented by project manager Gaja Mežnarić Osole.

The lecture will be held in Slovenian.

This Wednesday at 5 PM we will host our first talk. Our beekeeper William Blomstedt will present his innovative approach to cross-species research.

Insect pollination is vital to both the health of our ecosystem and food production. Consequently, it is important to understand how both pollinators and plants will be influenced by global climate change. Current satellites allow a near-daily view of the entire earth, but it is difficult linking the imagery with local events because of the difference in scale between a point and pixel. This research investigates the link between satellite imagery and data collected from beehives.

William Blomstedt is a geographer, beekeeper and writer. Born in Washington, USA, he attended Dartmouth College (B.A. 2007) and University of Edinburgh (M.A. 2014). He has worked as a beekeeper and queen breeder in Texas, North Dakota, New Zealand, Hawaii, Chile, Australia. He has also written over 60 articles as a contributor for The American Bee Journal and in the following year will publish a book on beekeeping essays and travel writing. In 2010 he came to Slovenia on a Fulbright Scholarship to study the change in nectar flow timing during the 20th century. He is now married and lives in Slovenia.

After the talk in the museum’s attic we will visit the beehives in the Park and demonstrate the regular check-up of the hives.

The lecture will be held in English.

Join us in the museum’s attic!

On Thursday 31st of August at 7pm, the we will open the exhibition Symbiocene, discovering new landscapes of coexistence in the Museum of Architecture and Design. The exhibition will show two active projects of the platform, the beehives, located in the museum’s park and the open studio where we will host weekly events and demonstrate regularly the basic treatment the of the urban beehives. We will publish the program of events weekly on our FB page. The exhibition will be open until 1st of October. You are welcome to join us!