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Award 2015 - Longlisted

Herbarium From The Urban Fields
– Gaja Meznaric Osole & Nusa Jelenec

About the project

The project was formed as a part of BIO50, that took place in the Museum of Architecture and Design Ljubljana, MAO. Herbarium From The Urban Fields is a collection of notes and propositions based on a series of the authors’ foraging field-trips in the urban wilds. The exploration assembles a harvest gathered through picking up edible plants, walking, talking to people, interviewing and facilitating workshops, cherishing spontaneity and random encounters.
Current findings introduce contemporary propositions for local co-existence such as a map of urban wilds and common spaces, an archive of tools for improvisation, alternative food labeling systems, collective foraging economies, and curiosity interviews.
Through practical work with the community, we aim to deepen our research. We use practices connected to food with an assumption that food tends to create a point of social connection that gives us access to research and intervene in the current social, economic and environmental disconnections.
The Museum’s locality represents a collision of a densely populated urban neighborhood interlaced with rural landscapes and wild nature. In such a context, the social structure of its inhabitants is mixed, forming a variety of different, yet fairly unconnected cultures on a small geographical area.
The aim is to develop a creative practice that helps to enhance the resilience of a specific locality through a set of collectively built guidelines and tools for local survival. We will disseminate our outcomes through a printed and online publication, lectures and public space interventions.
The outcomes, developed within 18 months in collaboration with MAO & cultural association Re-generation, will be addressing various formal organizations and informal groups or individuals.

About the artist

Nuša Jelenec (1983) and Gaja Mežnarić Osole (1984) are Ljubljana (SI) based designers, working in cross-disciplinary fields of activism and design. Their work together started in the group Knowing Food (a temporary transdisciplinary collective, part of Ljubljana biennial of design BIO50). At the moment they are establishing the cultural association Re-generation that is going to connect design practices with sustainability agendas, focusing on current economic, social and environmental issues.