Adriatic Sea Sources

Adriatic Sea Sources
Legacy of the Sea—Exploration of the local sources and other resources related to the coast, the littoral, and the undersea

Oaza collective
Zagreb, Croatia
Team members
Nina Bačun
Ivana Borovnjak
Roberta Bratović
Tina Ivezić
Maja Kolar
Ana-Marija Poljanec
Field of work
Design, Ecology, Visual Art, Curating, Research
Project category
Raising awareness
Project submitted

Oaza is an all female design collective from Zagreb founded by six partners and friends in 2013. Oaza designs, researches, curates, directs and edits content for visual identities, books, campaigns, exhibitions, theatre, film and digital media. Next to self-initiated projects, commissions and various transdisciplinary collaborations Oaza investigates topics of interest through total design projects which reflect the general approach to design as a political and social discipline directed towards critical questioning of our everyday life. Ongoing projects explore alternative models of production and natural resources within Made In, Oaza Books independent publishing and Female history of design through the project Designers 1930 — 1980: Context, Production, Influences. Besides self-initiated projects, Oaza members are active in the fields of formal and informal design education.

Made In Platform is a research, design and heritage platform that proposes new collaborative practices and knowledge exchange between the traditional craftspeople and contemporary designers. It engages craftspeople, designers, researchers, curators and theoreticians on a quest to pose relevant questions about the topics of heritage and production in today’s society through research and archiving of local crafts, conducting workshops and residencies and promoting ideas through exhibitions.

Oaza Books is an independent publishing initiative on contemporary art and design, with the idea of producing, promoting and distributing publications that approach the work process and content critically and transdisciplinary and establish a dialogue between cultural disciplines and socio-political issues. By using publishing as intersectional feminist practice with topics beyond the canon, we are looking into the tangled histories, giving voice(s) to the unknown, the absent, the invisible, the unaligned, marginalized, subverting the dominant discourse and generated universal truths.

Starting from the premise that design as a profession, through the production of a consumerist artificial environment, has contributed to today's crisis, which manifests itself through climate change and various other social changes, “Adriatic Sea Sources” will examine the relationship between design and the exploitation of local raw materials and natural resources from maritime Adriatic cultures. This includes the seabed, stone, water, wind, and any other resource related to the coast, the littoral, and the undersea. The project will revolve around the case study of the City of Rijeka, which will, in the following two years, undergo major changes in its urban, cultural, economic, and political biotope, due to the largest marine investment so far in the Adriatic.

The interdisciplinary, multidimensional, and critical research will be conducted in cooperation with experts from various maritime institutes, associations, and institutions to create design-craft work that raises questions about pressing problems such as the overexploitation of natural resources, mass tourism, land sales, privatization of the coast, changed marine biotopes, and invasive species. The goal of this project is to explore both local crafts and methods of sustainable production, as well as advanced scientific methods and technological tools.

In the first phase of the project, we will focus on detecting natural resources, drawing inspiration from projects such as "The Sea is Glowing" and "Ocean Archive". The research will result in a textual and visual documentary archive, which will be used to develop the design and artistic work related to the new Rijeka charter marina and will be presented within the larger MADE IN 2.0 project in 2025, that started at the beginning of 2023, with Oaza as one of the key partners and conceptual initiators.