Another project concerning the creation of community spaces for learning, experimentation and making is called Embodied Knowledge Shelters. We recognise the importance of collective action when tackling the problems of the anthropocene and so decided to activate public spaces and mobilise cultural institutions to facilitate education about local ecosystems and their resilience in relation to global environmental change. We host workshops, lectures and other community gatherings, learning how and with whom to cooperate and build a diverse web of life in our future cities. At one of these events we used scrap wood from a Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) to transform an exhibition space into a temporary working studio, which became a venue for our design work, weekly meetings, lectures, workshops and presentations on beekeeping practices. The studio was fitted with furniture elements we made from the biomass of invasive plants. At the end of the exhibition, the furniture pieces were auctioned off, funding the development and continuation of the project.
A third project, Groundworks, involved landscape restoration. In one of Ljubljana’s city parks we are actively removing invasive Tree of Heaven biomass, organising reading sessions there, and investigating uses for the collected biomass. Currently we are looking for ways to use it as a substrate for growing edible mushrooms.
By employing permaculture principles, scientific research, participatory methods and creative skills, we are looking at transforming damaged ecosystems into playgrounds of diverse human and extra-human economies. ■