from harmful to useful with citizen led activities
Trajna designed a series of paper and wood products as part of the APPLAUSE project, which was launched to address unresolved questions surrounding invasive plant species (IAPS) in terms of the zero-waste approach and circular economy. The conventional approach to disposing of IAPS biomass consists of composting or incinerating this plant material. Over the course of a 3-year project, Trajna worked on utilising their biomass for producing prototypes of new products, which will be produced in new publicly accessible workshops for wood and handmade paper on Povšetova in Ljubljana. Design became the subject of research through which we questioned how our selected audiences – families, school children & their teachers, and DIY-communities – could benefit from our creative proposals. By uncovering and analysing their needs, we worked towards designing products that enable »Do it yourself« production, raise-awareness about IAPS, and enable commercial activities for project partners, such as Trajna and JP VOKA SNAGA. Drawing from the creative skills of local product designers, graphic designers and illustrators and our extensive experience in design with invasive plants allowed us to prototype inventive, sustainable and context-driven products. Our final outcome, a unique collection of prototypes, thus has the capacity to animate diverse material cultures, production methods and economic practices that empower the citizens of Ljubljana and support them in adopting sustainable lifestyles.
Products were developed in cooperation with product designers Matija M. Biloslav and Rok Oblak, graphic designer Mina Arko, illustrator Kaja Avberšek, the Biotechnical Faculty (Department of Wood Science and Technology), the forestry company Tisa, the City of Ljubljana and the Public company VOKA SNAGA.
A series of DIY furniture with production plans was designed to be produced at the public wood workshop in Ljubljana. The project Feral Domesticity and the accompanying catalogue will be presented at Salone del Mobile Fair as part of the [Tunnel 29]: design after the post-apocalyptic world exhibition in 2021. Designed in collaboration with Matija Milković Biloslav and Renata Šifrar. The furniture was awarded the mark of excellence ‘Made in Slovenia’ by the Center of Creativity (MAO).
During the APPLAUSE project Trajna facilitated more than 70 wood and paper-making workshops for school children. Through these workshops children learned how to creatively use the biomass of invasive plants and support animal and plant lives in local ecosystems. Nesting box was designed in collaboration with Katarina Lampič.
DIY paper pots and a paper-pulp injecting hand press were designed to allow citizens to make or buy biodegradable pots made from invasive plant biomass instead of plastic. Once the seedling outgrows it, the pot can be easily replanted into a bigger pot or directly in the soil. Designed in collaboration with Rok Oblak.
The Collection of Travelling Plants is a didactic tool for introducing historical narratives about invasive species in a playful and engaging way. Presented in the form of a herbarium, it functions as a half-finished graphic story (a non-finito) as well a fieldwork tool. Designed in collaboration with Kaja Avberšek at Agosto Residency Program in Prague.
Photography: Klemen Ilovar