Gaja Mežnarić Osole

Gaja Mežnarić Osole (1984) works in the field of design, ecology and participation. After completing her undergraduate studies of visual communications at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, she continued to study system design at Goldsmiths University in London. In her master’s thesis, she dealt with a critical reflection on designers’ contemporary roles and design concerning the current economic, social and environmental situation (The Truth Lies in Dreams of Many: Reflections of a Design Student on Changing Roles and Design Practice). Together with Andrej Koruza, she has been running the Trajna collective since 2017. She creates opportunities to re-question the current strategies of addressing the problem of invasive plants, which builds a space on a thorny scientific basis to scare and inefficiently deal with the environmental phenomenon. After carrying out successful projects in the field of innovative treatment of invasive plants (Prijazni sovražnik/ A Friendly Enemy – Japanese Knotweed in the Paper Laboratory, Knotweed Games), in cooperation with the Municipality of Ljubljana, she contributed to the establishment of the project Applause: From Harmful to Useful Alien Plants With the Active Involvement of the Inhabitants. As part of the project, the Trajna collective dedicated itself to creating a new circular model, a series of paper and wood products from invasive plants, and creative workshops for children. The collective is actively involved in managing the brand of paper from invasive plants, Notweed Paper, and setting up a new creative laboratory krater in an overgrown construction pit in Ljubljana. With designer Rok Oblak, she is currently dedicating herself to preparing the first Krater Summer School, focusing on the design of new materials from local vegetation.