SKOPJE CREATIVE HUB 2014: new content in public space

Page 1



Edited by Damjan Kokalevski and Milan Dinevski




Opening Statement 6 Introduction 8 Why Skopje? 12 The Curatorial 16 Collaboration 20 Format 24 The Visual Identity 28 Experience 33 Public Discussions - excerpts


Public Program 75 Workshops 81

CS: Constructing a Stage 82

BUU: Bicycle Urbanism Unit in Skopje


RS: Rethinking Skopje: Identifying Urban Tools


PP: Public Playgrounds


SkopjeCreative.Net 90 SCH at BIO50:NOW 93 Biographies 96 Colophon




We would like to thank the collaborators and participants for their time and uncompromised engage-


ment, our host Youth Cultural Centre (MKC) and the


City of Skopje. This project became a reality thanks


to the belief and support of the Prince Claus Fund


for Culture and Development and their Culture in Defiance program. Your belief in our project encour-


aged us greatly and raised our criteria for success.


We consider this as a beginning of a discussion and a milestone towards a long term sustainable change,


one that matters for Skopje.


Damjan Kokalevski


Milan Dinevski









After gathering valuable international experience in

in order to introduce a terminology that is close to

the architecture and design fields, both from the side

the citizens and steers away from expert language.

of practice and academia, we founded City Creative

Festival is a popular word and a familiar format for

Network (CCN) as our platform for realizing collabo-

public events but one that gets easily dismissed and

rative projects and creating networks of like-minded,

overlooked by the professional community, especially

young, creative professionals who are interested in

architects. We like to think beyond these professional

an alternative urban development. CCN is our escape

limits and use a format and terminology that enables

from the institutional burdens and codes of conduct

various audiences to take part in this project. On a

that gives us freedom to operate on levels ranging

side note: there is also a huge pleasure in revisiting

from activism to knowledge production, hands-on

outdated or overlooked concepts and reinvigorating

design and policy making. We are internationally lo-

them with new critical views.

cal, originally from Skopje, with working experience in Vienna, Ljubljana, Tokyo, Zurich, Lisbon, Amsterdam

Given the recent developments regarding the physi-

and London. CCN is inspired by our city – Skopje –

cal ruptures in Skopje and its socio-political remaking,

where we locate ourselves although we operate on a

this project expands the possibility for young people

wider regional and international scale.

to challenge the mainstream developments with creative and artistic means, to think critically about their city and to take action.

The idea for Skopje Creative Hub came as a result of observing and learning from Skopje on one hand and a general disenchantment with the architecture and design professions which are increasingly distanced from any societal commitment, on the other. We are young professionals with experience in practice and academia and refuse to believe in superiority of one over the other. Instead, we look for ways to connect the two in meaningful and productive ways. We use the term creative festival deliberately, instead of chain-of-events or other quasi-professional terms,







Skopje has been a conundrum for many of us. After its

sic scene to appear in Skopje. Skopje was named

active to the suffocating mono-culture that has been

near annihilation by a massive earthquake in 1963,

“Detroit on the Balkans” because of its established

recently enforced. This is the challenge that drives us

Skopje became a testing ground for the city of the fu-

and valued underground electronic music scene.

to make projects like Skopje Creative Hub. We con-

ture. It was proclaimed a world symbol of solidarity by

Alongside, the Skopje Jazz Festival was created, to-

nected with the most ground-breaking tendencies cur-

the Yugoslav leader Tito and the United Nations who

day one of the most respected festivals of this kind

rently active in the city and expanded their field of

sponsored and mediated the rebuilding of Skopje.

in the world. Skopje was becoming a contemporary

action. The international group of creative minds that

Skopje became a small U.N. in its own right. The most

city where diversity was translated into a multifaceted

participated brought fresh ideas, activated the public

influential creative minds of that time including Kenzo


space and expressed interest that goes beyond the

Tange, Arata Isozaki, Constantinos Doxiadis, Van der

format of the festival. Skopje Creative Hub 2014 re-

Broek and Bakema etc. were drawing and building the

Besides this multiplicity, over the years Skopje has

future blueprints of the city. Skopje became a melting

increasingly become a city divided between its differ-

pot of ideas, a fact that is now largely forgotten.

ent ethnic groups. It was in the 2000’s that a shift

established Skopje as a capital of creativity.

emerged in the way Skopje was developing which Skopje has a strong multicultural and multi-ethnic

was characterized by market-rate privatization cou-

character which dates back to Byzantine times, but

pled with weak local government. Skopje is now no

really honed itself during the Ottoman rule in the 14th

longer the city of the modern way forward, but rather

and 15th centuries. After WWII, Skopje was on a path

a city which is asking constantly what it wants to be,

towards modernization which was in tune with the so-

defending itself against market politics and political

cialist narrative of Yugoslavia and remained one of

greed. The citizens are preoccupied with daily politi-

the most culturally diverse capitals on the Balkans.

cal scenarios and intrigues, slowly becoming passive

This diversity has allowed for a culture of open-mind-

spectators and consumers of whatever the market,

edness and forward thinking to thrive in Skopje espe-

the government or who- whatsoever has to offer which

cially after the earthquake of ‘63.

makes it impossible to think of initiatives for change. How can we react to these trends? What can we, as

During the breakup of Yugoslavia, while the wars in

young professionals, offer and why are these kinds of

the region were unfolding, Macedonia was becoming

creative initiatives non existent in Skopje today?

a small bubble of freedom - oasis of peace - as it


was called. The lines of ethnicities were being blurred

We are just as inspired by the proximities and mul-

by culture. For instance this enabled a thriving mu-

tiplicities of the urban fabric of Skopje as we are re-






We realized the importance of the curatorial aspect

We dissected the city, looked at its potentials, why it

of our work while we were conceiving and organizing

matters to us, how can we act and react and what can

the somewhat complex and dense program for the ten

we offer. The format created a space for experiments,

days of SCH. By curatorial we mean: finding the rel-

beyond the think-tank methodologies which are usual-

evant topics that can yield great potential for change

ly purely hands-on, and instead opened a philosophi-

and unpack them through the right format which

cal angle which questioned how to unfold an urbanity

enables collaborative work to happen. Our interest

through thinking, speaking and doing together.

was to go beyond the dialectic of pro or against the mainstream and instead propose something new and

Our curatorial turn created a heterotopia par excel-

unexpected which unlocks the creativity and is highly

lence, in a Foucauldian sense, one that is at the same

engaging at the same time.

time embedded in the real world but also separated and distanced from it by a set of rules, or rituals that

Inspired by the Curatorial/Knowledge PhD group at

permit strategical operations. Most of all, when we

the Goldsmiths University, we recognized possibilities

think about the curatorial through SCH we think about

for other ways of working together and association

our commitment to seeing, reading and speaking as

through the concept of the curatorial, which escape

a form of public activity. About the knowledge we can

presupposed definitions and dangers of relapsing in

produce, potentialities we can uncover and novel

the trap of the expertise. Instead, we seek novel ways

ways of approaching the status-quo we can develop.

that offer a frame for free association, one that is flexible enough to incorporate the various inputs and at the same time rigid enough to hold the focus on the proposed topics. If by curatorial we mean a certain collectivity and sociability, than in our case it became a mode of being, in an ontological sense, during the 10 days of Skopje Creative Hub. It became our second nature to operate in the collective and did not allow anyone to remain silent.










HUB 2014














How to make an initiative? All you need is an idea,

general public. We could grasp the importance and

dedication and people to support it.

richness of a community which was created by many different parts, each contributing and striving towards a positive change.

We invited the most relevant architects, designers, artists, thinkers, activists and academics to work on real problems and see real potentials in the city, using

Skopje Creative Hub 2014 is the beginning of a se-

a cross-disciplinary, critical and innovative approach

ries of projects, which are presented in this book. All

to urbanity. Our collaborators were immediately con-

projects are on-going and continue beyond the frame

vinced about the importance of a creative festival as

of SCH. They are aimed to become instigators of real,

an initiative for activating public space and at the

strategic change and establish a dialogue with the lo-

same time a reaction to the current developments in

cal authorities, and other interested parties in Skopje.

the city. Most of them were already acquainted with

Beyond this, our tendency is to establish a balance

the specificities of the city but also had a somewhat

between the national representative culture and an

exotic image of it. Once all domestic and international

alternative cultural production. We deploy strategic

participants were on-board and started working, the

scenarios for city development that generate new,

great energy and enthusiasm created an atmosphere

publicly accessible knowledge. This book is a data-

of uncompromised and significant artistic expression.

base for further collaborations.

The local/international coupling of tutors proved fruitful in addressing global trends and grounding them in the complex context of Skopje. The local tutors could benefit from the diverse experience, objective and systematic approach of the international tutors while the latter had the chance to experience and intervene


in the problematic but spontaneous and socially rich public space of Skopje. We held daily public lectures and discussions on a wide range of topics which cre-


ated a critical discourse that was beneficial both to the participants of Skopje Creative Hub 2014 and the







In September 2014 over a period of 10 days, an international group of young creative professionals and students occupied the spaces of the MKC Skopje and


turned it into a testing ground for scenarios for alternative urban development. Skopje Creative Hub 2014 was an active public space in itself.


WORKSHOPS: Five workshop groups were led by pairs


of domestic and international young creative professionals, each consisted of international, cross-disciplinary group of students. The students, together with


the tutors designed, tested and built urban interventions in various scales.


PUBLIC DISCUSSIONS: For the discussions we invited thinkers, activists and theorists who addressed rel-


evant urban issues and provided a critical discourse which benefited both the workshop groups and the citizens of Skopje.


PUBLIC PROGRAM: Local civic initiatives, individuals and institutions completed the public program with a


series of performances, one day actions, theatre plays and exhibitions that created a highly visible and dy-


namic atmosphere.












The Skopje milieu is very diverse. It is made up of var-

intellectual elite of Skopje interested in design, theory

ious cultures, religions, nationalities, individuals and

and policy-making.

architectural heritage belonging to different historical eras. However, Skopje still struggles to produce good enough content for its young population, which anticipates internationalization and sees itself belonging to a more complex European cultural milieu. Skopje’s youth often comments that nothing is really happen-



ing in Skopje and talks about an emptiness that is



When used in math calculation, the large, swirly


commonly felt among them.

brackets contain the smaller ones, which suggests scale, openness, generosity and hospitality. On the other hand, the empty space between them symbolizes the nothingness, emptiness and the need for ful-


fillment and accomplishment, two of the aims of SCH. Another aspect of the empty bracket space comes as


an association to content which didn’t exist during the time of the visual identity design, but was to be produced later, as part of the event, the workshops and


the public program. SCH is the embrace (the bracket) which will foster new content into the city.


These critical aspects of the visual identity of Skopje Creative Hub were crucial because it aimed to com-


municate with the so-called „critical mass“. The young























CCN Introduction We think that something interesting is happening, there have been similar initiatives in Skopje before SCH and it seems that the interest in this kind of initiatives is withering away. So, either there is something wrong with what we are doing - or simply this intriguing and complex system of shaping and producing public spaces, totally removed from our mental map the possibility to do something in them and we remain hopeless. It is also something which is happening globally, for example at the Venice Biennale 2010, at the exterior of the Japanese Pavilion it was written in bold letters: urban public spaces are authoritarian devices for suppressing people. It is from the pervasive process of privatization or excessive regulation of the public space and the vicious circle of public-private partnerships where this hopelessness is coming from. But from our experience with these kinds of initiatives, it is really interesting in terms of what ProstoRoŞ have conveyed to us about their work, which is a powerful statement for the large potential these initiatives of 20-30 people have and what they can do for the space and the community. Also what Ensamble showed us, about the instantaneity of public space interventions once they are being build and suddenly they are there so there is not a chance that you can forget about them because they are already doing their job. They are immediate and you need practically a zero budget and few people to do them. So we are talking about different scales and different ways of engaging with the public space. Dealing with it can be repressive, liberating or anything in between and that’s why we immediately feel the importance of these initiatives. The whole idea behind this initiative is to open a debate about the public space through a creative, critical approach and freedom of expression. For us and Skopje it’s really important to keep this in our focus.




Maša Cvetko (ProstoRož, Ljubljana)

During my architecture studies I went to Barcelona for an exchange year and regardless of the fact that I spent so little time at the faculty the experience of the city significantly changed my view on architecture. I was wondering why I feel so good in this city and I realized that it was not one experience but series of many small experiences and details in the city that were influencing my feelings. For example, I was crazy about the rich sounds of the environment, the smell of the blooming orange trees on my street in spring, the different people sitting in the city squares and spending time together, but most of all the way people were proud of their city. I learned that the city is not something that you can plan, simplify and design to a degree that we were trained and taught to do at our architecture school. I learned that the city is much more like a living organism that has its body and physical structure - buildings, streets, squares - and something that makes it alive, that lives within it. It is the intersection of the two that makes it special. When I returned to Ljubljana I was wondering why, besides the high quality public space and ambient, the experience was not special. It was because we were not aware about the ways we can use our public spaces and we did not really care for them, but most of all we didn’t think of them as anything to be proud of. Then I started to talk about this with two colleagues of mine, Ana and Alenka (ProstoRož) and we started wondering how can change this and we all agreed that we have to raise the awareness about the potentials of these spaces. We started making collages with possible scenarios for some public spaces in Ljubljana which we found interesting and understated. We presented them to the municipality and they did not understand what we really intended to do, but this did not suppress our enthusiasm and after half a year of negotiations the interventions became a reality. Some of them were banal but visually attractive, since we wanted to bring the attention of the citizens to these places but also we wanted to show that sometimes just a very small intervention is needed to make a certain space more functional and pleasant. On the other hand if you do something in a



space that is collectively used, you actually do it for yourself since you are the one who


most often sees and uses these spaces. This became our primary goal over the years,

Referring to a canopy project in China - It is very interesting because it questions the no-

we want to encourage the citizens to care for their environment.

tions of program and function. The program could be a roof but the function could be


a playground or a library and it’s also interesting to see how the people are changing it.

Our work extends between two poles. On one hand, we are engaged in long-term re-

Because as architects we provide space and infrastructure, this is highly polemical but

vitalizations of individual neighbourhoods that include a tight cooperation with citi-

we believe that we provide space and structure, then inhabitants and context imprint

zens and organizations on a local level. On the other hand, we test different solutions

themselves into this structure and give a certain life to it. So as soon as you build a pro-

to issues in the public space through temporary, short-term interventions. Our work is

ject you have to leave it and let it live its own life in a way.

woven together by the search for new, alternative approaches to spatial design and


management. It is based on a “bottom-up� principle that anticipates cooperation of a

The importance of the drawing as the first step through which you can apprehend the

greater number of individuals on the community level in order to achieve a joint decision

notions of scale and distance. Drawings are also the way you build the pre-narrative in

or express a joint wish. Therefore raising awareness of the importance of public spaces

order to introduce it to your project. Like the drawing, also models have their own life

and building active communities are of crucial importance to us.

and they are not trying to mimic any form of reality. They ask the question of what is real


at the end because drawings and models are not less real than the building and vice

With every project, we learn and expand the scope as well as the methods of our activi-

versa. They work as their own identity and create an overall project altogether.

ty. Our approaches to projects vary: some are initiated on the basis of our own observa-

tions, some by invitation from local residents and organizations and others in agreement

comment: CCN

with the municipal government and other decision-makers.

We admire your obsession for moulding and combining different materials in order to create your structures and artefacts and how this whole notion of gathering around certain objects even as sim-

Nemanja Zimonjic and

ple as a frame can create a collaborative work which we find extremely important and inspiring.

Guillaume Othenin-Girard (Ensamble, Zurich)

It is important to say that our projects are always built as an on-going process which

means, we never have a final design at the very beginning, before constructing the project. We never have a global view of the final project so the people are drawing on the floor, a little bit like the old cathedrals were made in the middle ages and it is always about this balance between models, drawings and building. Also, part of the on-going process is that these structures bring people together and could start as a 5-6 people project and end as 200.




Marko Icev (Skopje)

I would like to start with the immortal quote by Nikolaus Pevsner about the bicycle shed and the cathedral, so to paraphrase what he said, the bicycle shed is a building and a cathedral is architecture. Anything that is on human scale, that a man can walk through and occupy is a building, anything that has an aesthetic value is architecture. I am mentioning this because what happens when we have a bicycle shed sort of decorated to look like a cathedral, but it is not? It’s interesting to think about this as a starting point, just to remind you this was in 1943, so it’s interesting to see what’s going on, what’s happening now in the context of Skopje. ... For example the Prada in SoHo, New York by OMA. It’s a great project and I am not trying to make a derision of it but it is an interesting idea if you think that a luxury designer store hires a starchitect to design their luxury flagship store in New York. It’s just this level of excess that is so interesting. ... Relating to Skopje 2014 - I think it is unavoidable to mention this because here is what the title of my lecture Blurred Lines of Content means. The buildings that are done here are basically faking excess, I call it “f’excess”, because they take a language that is supposed to be excessive but they are executed with very cheap materials and cheap gimmicks, so it’s kind of a self-perpetuating “I want to be excessive, but I can’t” mode and it fails in being excessive by its very own language. When we have these images of these buildings juxtaposed, one or another, we lose the 3D presentation. The buildings are not perceived as 3D objects any more than they are perceived as a flat plane and in those terms, if a building has no spatial qualities and no content - why even bother building? You can’t pretend that this is excess, that this is the fruit of many years of economic wealth and prosperity and that this is an expanse and advancement of the architectural field when,



you just have a tall building just awkwardly sticking out over the riverbank, and the whole


language just didn’t know what to do with its own location. That’s not what true excess is.

Prof. Philip Ursprung (gta/ETH Zurich)

We all remember the Pompidou in Paris, their plaza is actually a part of the project, while in

First of all, this is a very important initiative, to bring people from various places to this

Skopje we have the complete opposite.

city to activate students from here but also from elsewhere and together to figure out and produce something that hopefully will change the life in this city.

Jasna Stefanovska (AF Skopje)


The master plan for Skopje, when we look from the perspective of what happened then

Because the only alternative to private is the public, in Hardt and Negri’s analysis they

in that complex decision making for the city it says: the day, years after it was made offi-

suggest to overcome the narrowness of this proposition by the commonwealth. The

cial through fast, efficient and successful realisation, unprecedented in the world, can be af-

commonwealth of the world like its air, water, fruits of the soil but also results of social

firmed as a result of a creative approach, progressive methodology and comprehensive plan-

interaction and production such as knowledge, language, codes, information, affects.

ning and design.

The issue of private and public is good to look at in Skopje, we first came here in 2010

This statement gives a lot of credibility to the city and all the team members that worked

with my students and the photographer Armin Linke, and I was struck how much this

on the project and I think that everyone would be proud to participate in such a revolution-

city has changed since, which was mostly change in the public space which is author-

ary project, the master plan making for the city.

ized and controlled by the government which corroborates the argument of Hardt and Negri. So that is why we have to break this dichotomy and think of the common, im-

comment: CCN

ages between, which are neither owned by public and the state neither by the private

Thank you Jasna and Marko, you really gave us this intricate historical and contemporary context of


the situation in Skopje, but not just Skopje as an isolated case but really putting it into this relay of


problematic urban public space which is happening in the cities of Europe and worldwide.

If we talk about participation we have to look at Claire Bishop’s work, she writes with emphasis on the social dimension of participation. Bishop says we should not limit participation by aesthetics and think of the social and economic side and also think who is participating and in what? Who can participate in the art market, who can participate in the knowledge of art. Who can see the Venice biennale? You have to have the passport and the means to see it. Participation is at stake in politics and widely discussed, in many countries there is pseudo-participation. I was told there was online vote for the refurbishment of the government building in Skopje, the classicist version won, many would call this the nightmare of participation. So if we produce new content in the city, who is participating in it, who can interact or interfere with it. Is it the architect who



knows what is good for the people or perhaps not? ... These thoughts came to my mind while we were re-enacting Echo-Logy by Allan Kaprow in Olympia, Greece 2013. We referred to the antique legend of Echo and Narcissus where what ultimately remains is the voice without the body - can one compare Europe, with its self absorbed Narcissus and Greece as a rejected Echo to its destiny. Next the notion of entropy came to my mind, new taxes are introduced in Greece and a lot of social stability pacts had been broken, it was a burden and many people could not afford to pay the taxes and nobody can buy an apartment either. The Greeks literally were losing the ground beneath their feet and stopped to participate in the initial prosperity of the EU. The old airport was sold and auctioned to international investors, their homes and public spaces were not their protection but became unholy, uncanny and we could see how many ghosts and monster graffiti spread through Athens as well. I was struck by the noise and loudness 10 years ago in Athens, while now people were silent, their voices were muffled, a collective depression. ... I want to introduce the concept of immaterial labour at the end, widely discussed in the 70’s and 80’s and its main theoreticians are Negri, Lazzarato and Virno. It also entails creating social contacts and networks. During our re-enactment the product is lost or corrupted: the water is lost the air is brought back to the air and it is not possible to be exploited from the market. I think this is useful for this workshop, because what you produce could be exploited and you have to give it away, but you can also stop that from happening by instantly sharing everything and make it available immediately - the open access idea.

comment: CCN

We like the idea of instant sharing, that’s why we will publish all results from this workshop immediately after and make it publicly accessible for free.




Prof. Tadej Glažar (FA Ljubljana)

Prof. Lieven de Cauter (KU Leuven)

I teach at the University of Ljubljana and I work with students and although a

The question of Architecture and Activism is a huge one. In fact for years I try to

colleague of mine Slavoj Žižek quite often says: the best universities are those

work on it and you can say, it’s quite rare for architecture to become activism

without students, so the teachers can really concentrate on research, thinking and

in practice. Even the finest projects are still architecture and activism in architec-

discussion with their colleagues, I love working with students and I appreciate their

ture is something beyond architecture. For instance you would think of Atelier

knowledge, potentials, provocations. That’s why I am here.

d’architecture autogérée / studio for self-managed architecture in Paris, with Doina


Petrescu among others, who conceive themselves as curators, as part of a process

As a part of the curriculum, together with the students we worked on a competition

of self-organisation of the community or you could say, extended or post-architectur-

for a new courthouse in Ljubljana named “Public Palace of Justice”. The location

al practice where architecture becomes one tiny element of the community process.

was questionable, very narrow between a boulevard and a central train station, very small area dedicated to public space so we made an open ground floor. They

comment: CCN

couldn’t give us the first price. A huge reaction in the media, public debates and

We had a chance to meet Lieven on a seminar and we were all kind of struck by his ability to com-

student protests cancelled the competition and rethought the whole issue about the

bine philosophical and critical thinking with art initiatives and activism in a way which was against

location and the meaning of such a building. At least the next time it will not be

everything what we’ve been told in our architecture and art schools.

named “a public palace”. ... The famous economist Dambisa Moyo (Dead Aid, 2009) said: the only recommended aid for the unprivileged places of the earth are through education and the capacity of building infrastructure for education. So, together with 20 students and 5 teachers we participated in this topic and build a school in South Africa. We were constantly asking ourselves, why go to Africa when we have similar problems here? Of course, the answer was because of the regulations we were not allowed to do this in Slovenia, so we went to Africa to share this priceless experience. It was not only a humanitarian act, it was also an adventure of cultural exchange and learning architecture and crafts.






Bekim Ramku (KAF, Pristina)

When the socialists came to Pristina and started building their “social realist” massive blocks of housing units, squares, cultural domes and libraries, the people thought that they are devastating their city. In the period of Kosovo’s independence until recently, there was no local authorities only a U.N. mission in Kosovo, which didn’t think that the urban planning department is important. At this time 60% of the national heritage was destroyed by the people themselves. For example, one of the most beautiful buildings in Pristina, once used by Ljubljanska Banka, was bought by a private developer intending to tear down this icon and erase the collective memory and of course, the government won’t protect it since is not old enough nor is not a mosque or a church.

comment: CCN

When we founded our organisation City Creative Network and this project Skopje Creative Hub 2014 we imagined it as an initiative which belongs to the relay of regional initiatives of similar character. We never saw Skopje or the conditions in Macedonia as an isolated case, but instead from the beginning we were persistent to make this a regional collaboration and we are glad that Bekim accepted our invitation and is here with us tonight.

Roel van Herpt

and Giulio Margheri (Strelka Institute, Moscow)

As a part of the curriculum, in a cross-disciplinary group of architects, designers, journalists, consultants, economists etc., we worked on a competition named Relocating Strelka, moving the school is a new start. The whole idea behind it is to reinterpret the moving of Strelka in another part of the city of Moscow as a new start for the Institute. In the last years Strelka became pretty famous and with that approach they wanted to show how the Institute can change and present the idea, how to become new and innovative and keep growing.





For the new start of the school we chose the very famous ВГБИЛ building from 1966.

We started to analyse the main challenge of how to mix soviet cityscape of Moscow and

In Vienna we have the issue that we are most probably the best ranked city in the world,

out-dated cultural institutions, how to reinvent them through collaboration, how to reacti-

when it comes to quality of life and I am saying this as a warning on a very high level be-

vate the space and the building using the potentials which already exist and create a sort

cause we have the problem that a lot of our clients say: you don’t have to improve anything,

of cultural prototype and at the same time presents the whole image of avoided places as

you are so good already. So sometimes the limitations are at the degree of freedom of the

cool and trendy.

way we work. These studies are made by international organisations like the U.N. and are


kind of conservative rankings tied to safety, provision of public services and so on. For exam-

Surprisingly, many of the services on both the inside and outside of the MKAD (ring road

ple, with the Eco-City ranking we are not even in the top 10, but when it comes to quality of

around Moscow, borders of the city) are directly connected to the ring. Of its 336 exits in

life and having a good time in the city, we are top notch. However, we have many things to

total, 192 exits immediately lead to an enclave hosting different services. This condition is


absolutely unique in the world: compared to ring roads in cities like Beijing, Caïro, Paris,


and Washington DC, the MKAD on average has 14 times more direct exits per kilometre.

At Smarter Than Car we call ourselves an open source think-tank on bicycle urbanism and fu-

These type of exists symbolize the transformation of the MKAD from a road for improv-

ture urban mobility. Actually, we are acupuncture operating small group based in Beijing that

ing traffic circulation into an urban ring full of destinations. Over the last two decades, the

acts as the first bicycle advocacy group in China. When I first travelled to Beijing and got to

MKAD has become a post-Soviet city. Whereas life in the USSR was characterized by

know these people and started to work with them, I just found it fascinating that in China,

limited choice for consumption and restricted car ownership for the majority of people,

although we have the image that everyone is on bike, people have to fight hard for the right

MKAD City is all about cars and consumption. An eclectic mix of functions accommo-

to bicycle again.

date different lifestyles: the less well-off shop at the cheap Sadovod immigrant market,

We engaged in advocacy but soon we found out that in China this classic advocacy, going on

the middle class is served by IKEA stores and their MEGA shopping malls, and wealthy

the streets organising rides how we know it from here is not really working especially for

Muscovites go shopping at the luxurious Crocus City Mall. And everything in the mix is

very small groups… in China there is a saying: when you are small, authorities don’t care but

connected through a congested ring.

when you become big, they crash you. We don’t want to go the “being crushed” way, so we

Florian Lorez (Smarter Than Car/Plan Sinn, Vienna)

engage in urban research and try to create attention and recognition for the Chinese cycling culture internationally. Then we can make a contribution to it. In the ‘80s, there were 3 million people on bicycle in Beijing. We thought of how it can be possible that so many people are on bicycle without running into each other or driving across each other and then we started developing the concept of “negotiated flow”. It’s a concept where you don’t try to separate traffic to separated traffic space for different traffic users.



What we observe is that, when people are free to decide where they want to go and they interact with each other on immediate base it is very efficient system. There is an immediate system, where people should look to each other and interact on the street and there is a system where you look at the traffic light and as soon as it’s green you race on, without even looking if someone is crossing the street because it is your right anyway now. So we are very interested in this situation when people have to use their heads in a sense of a Smart City.

Dubravka Sekulic (gta/ETH Zurich, Belgrade)

The only real research that started looking in these practices at the end of the ‘90s was Wild City, a research done by STEALTH.unlimited, at that time still students at Berlage. They focused on the transformation of the space but also the street trades and the fact that majority of the everyday life in Belgrade overnight became something that is taking place in between. The space is not dedicated to something but in between and not really regulated by the law but in between. I started to study architecture in 1999. In that time there were a lot of these informal structures going on and absolutely no one discussed about this at the faculty. We were told to wait and dream about the moment when the private developers will understand how important architects are and they will give us the space to unleash our creativity and we were taught to design in that sense. In order to understand what happened in the ‘90s, how come all this all of a sudden, I can’t start the research in the ‘90s, I have to go back to the origins and how was this space produced in the first place. It was during the period of Yugoslavia where the most important thing to understand was, how all this cities of Yugoslavia went to the large process of modernization and became cities in the full sense. That is because of the guiding principle behind the production of the majority of the space which was, housing is a right. The housing is not something that people are individually responsible to provide for themselves on the market but the housing is so important for normal functioning of the society and quality of everyday life that should not be left on the speculative market to regulate. -70-




Prof. Mechtild Widrich

Q: Monuments in Yugoslavia by Bogdan Bogdanovic, he said that the best world would be the

(University of Basel/School of the Art Institute of Chicago)

world without monuments. What is your take on the world without monuments, can it exist? Is it

I will talk about the intersection of performance art and monuments. There is an

something connected to the presence and the present.

aphorism by Robert Musil, “there is nothing in the world as invisible as monu-

A: I think there is a paradox in trying to create a democratic monument. I am not sure if that can

ments’. We simply overlook traditional monumental sculpture in public space. The

exist, you construct history and a certain view on history and in that you include some and exclude

statues of great heroes and formerly famous poets have mysteriously fallen silent.’

others. The more I work on this the more I accept that there is authority and someone decides who

Musil is criticizing the inadequacy of the monuments to express social action.

it is we have to remember, so it is a nice idea, a world without monuments, but then how do you

Monumentality in architecture is widely discussed as well, are they for the govern-

create memories? We need to remember, even if the monument is a piece of paper or whatever.

ment, who has the authority or are they for the audience. ... Lucy Lippard wrote: “If public art is indeed to be public…It must be able to engage at least a portion of its audience at the core of its own experience, and at the same time to extend this experience.” She is saying that if you put something in public space it does not mean that it is public, but it is about how you connect to it and expand a certain experience. “What is needed is spreading not down but out of an art that rises up from the experiences of the people who are living with it rather than an art patronizingly imposed from above. Q: So if a monument has its audience is it successful? For example what we see in Skopje, it is questionable whether they are monuments but they have an audience as well, so I would like to have your take on the relationship between a monument and its audience. A: The idea is from the 18th century, and the idea is to create one body of citizens or a mass that connects to these monuments, but then later memorials connect to individuals, and try to make you aware about something, it is a very different approach. If we activate very conservative model, like in Skopje, this 19th century model to create a national identity, it will not work because the society is very different now.






We invited various local initiatives to complete the diverse program of the creative festival. The public program gave space and infrastructure to the independent cultural producers from Skopje to be able to present their work. Part of our ambition was to connect to the most ground-breaking tendencies in the city, expand their field of action and create lasting collaborations. Each of the local cultural producers brought their own audience and community of supporters and collaborators to the festival which contributed to a greater overall impact. It was also a chance for these initiatives to meet and present each others’ work. Skopje Creative Hub 2014 became an active public space in itself! The public program ranged from creating an indoor skate park in MKC as our closing event, to building a scenography by reused materials and developing a theatre play with high school students, to radio show about alternative mapping of the city called Radio Drive and a discussion about the autonomous production of culture, to name a few.








NAUTILUS or an extraordinary story of a CONSTRUCT in Skopje

CS: CONSTRUCTING A STAGE Tutors: Ensamble (Zurich); RADiUs Architects (Skopje); Elena Dinovska (Skopje) Participants: Darko Krstevski, Ivana Angelova, Marija Barović, Ines Galun, Simona Vidojevska, Mija Petreska

Why CS in Skopje? A project for a new Public Stage in Skopje. A new Stage on the River, one to host theatre, music performances and public gatherings of any kind. A place for culture. A public stage as an opportunity to re-frame and imagine new possibilities of performances and enhance relations in-between Skopje’s epic and sometimes unusual ranges of public spaces and its inhabitants. The primary idea came from the local independent theatres (Wonderland and Theatra), who needed public space for performance and expression. The stage is a reaction to the lack of public space initiatives in Skopje and gives this group and others a stage where freedom of expression is imperative. The stage will be placed near the Youth Cultural Centre (MKC) and can be accessed 24h. The stage is a multifunctional, open-wooden structure, preferably mobile/modular and easily adaptable. It is in the centre of Skopje, but still in a very underdeveloped public area along the river embankments of Vardar. This area will soon experience major changes orchestrated by the city of Skopje aimed at becoming a new cultural area that connects the two riverbanks that will thereby strengthen the perimeter of the site for the stage and enhance this notion of a room on the water. A room to stay. Why Ensamble, RADiUs Architects and Elena Dinovska? This is a collaborative work of young architects, artists, builders and craftsmen. We approached Ensamble from Zürich, whose wooden pavilions have been awarded many times, to collaborate with the young and established RADiUs Architects and the stage designer Elena Dinovska from Skopje. Our main idea is to deepen the local and international exchange of creative expertise that will be centred around the building of the stage as a collaborative process. To work with Ensamble can be described as a privilege and possibility for collaborating on highest professional level. Phases of realization Phase 1: “Designing a Brief”; 29 August - 7 September 2014: Research on material and resources, local construction, craft and site survey Phase 2: “Constructing a Stage”; Spring 2015: Building the stage and opening with a series of cultural events. -82-


BUU: BICYCLE URBANISM UNIT IN SKOPJE Tutors: Florian Lorenz, Smarter Than Car - STC (Vienna); NaTochak (Skopje) Participants: Victoria Paeva, Ani Arzumanyan, Zvonko Vugreshek, Cvetkova Ilina, Sandra Mojsova, Lazo Lazarov

Why BUU in Skopje? Skopje has grown immensely in the last 10 years, boulevards were widened, green spaces diminished, number of cars doubled while decreasing space for pedestrians and cyclists. Booming Skopje has not yet considered an integral mobility strategy including all layers of society and celebrating active transport as potential for urbanization. This is the starting point for the Bicycle Urbanism Unit in Skopje. The Bicycle Urbanism Unit employs the humble bicycle to connect Skopje’s urbanization onto a human scale. The Bicycle Urbanism Unit works in performative ways, with subjective urban views, in cooperation with Skopje’s population and urban administrtion, with manual and digital tools. The Bicycle Urbanism Unit draws experiential maps of the city, reclaims public space currently occupied by the car and develops a bicycle urbanism vision for Skopje. We develop an alternative urban study for Skopje based on a non-motorized view of the city. The main outcome is a brochure with a strategic vision for the city titled: Skopje 2025 a Bicycle Friendly City, which was distributed to many members of the local authorities, decision makers, private developers and other interested parties in Skopje. Why Florian Lorenz and NaTochak? Florian Lorenz from the Beijing and Vienna based think-tank Smarter Than Car is working on strategies for developing ideas of Future Urban Mobility and Bicycle Urbanism on a global scale. His work ranges from activism to comprehensive urban mobility study for Beijing. We paired him with the local activist group NaTochak (OnBicycle) which together with the participants created the Bicycle Urbanism Unit in Skopje. NaTochak has been one of the most active NGO’s in Skopje, one that managed to built a strong community that is committed and active in promoting bicycle culture in the city. However, their work in raising the awareness about the use of the bicycle in Skopje is mainly activist and event oriented. Their collaboration with Florian Lorenz will elevate their work on a new, strategic level which includes activism and links it to comprehensive urban thinking together with the local authorities. This collaboration was beyond successful, and the group is still active today, months after the completion of the Skopje Creative Hub 2014.



RS: RETHINKING SKOPJE: IDENTIFYING URBAN TOOLS Tutors: Haris Piplas, Urban Think Tank - UTT (ETH, Zurich); Marko Icev (Skopje) Participants: Jana Konstantinova, Martina Atanasovska, Ana Vehar, Marko Conevski, Iva Shokoska, Mirjana Lozanovska, Toni Popovski, Daniel Atanasovski



Why RS in Skopje? The diversities in the city (social, ethnic, national, cultural) present great potentials for developing places of inclusion, coexistence and interaction. We combine qualitative and quantitative urban research methods on different scales in order to identify spatial potentials. We deploy various tools for research that range from analysis of statistical data and mapping spaces up to hands-on field research and interviews in close contact


with the citizens, NGOs, local authorities and innovative start-up companies. Once identified, the potentials are rethought and activated through strategic tools and scenario-based proposals. The material (graphic, tex-


tual, audio and video) feeds into an interactive-web-platform with shared database (SkopjeCreative.Net) that documents the research and activation process. The final outcome is a combined interactive web-platform where the results of this and the other groups are compiled and published in a digital database which becomes a platform for further collaborations. The central goal of our project is located in opening up the spaces for creative production, building a new community, bridging the divisions that exist in civil society and with it


enhancing the quality-of-life aspects of Skopje. We think of Skopje as a city responsive to the needs of his inhabitants and a city that has a stable network of communication canals that enable higher levels of democracy in spatial governance and bottom-up planning processes. Why Haris Piplas, Urban Think Tank (UTT) and Marko Icev?



The research topic of this group was framed by CCN, it is inspired by the work of UTT and based on both UTT and CCN’s fields of interest. UTT from the viewpoint of an interdisciplinary design practice dedicated to highlevel research and design on a variety of subjects, concerned with contemporary architecture and urbanism. CCN with its interest in activating public spaces through systematic and strategic change by project based col-


laborations and public debates. We combined our ways of thinking with the expertise of the architect and urban planner Marko Icev whose work and research focuses on issues of the urban context of Skopje. The experience of UTT as a global practice is embedded in the local context through the collaboration with Marko Icev.



PP: PUBLIC PLAYGROUNDS Tutors: ProstoRož (Ljubljana); Ivana Kostovska (Skopje); Velimir Žernovski (Skopje/Belgrade) Participants: Sonja Brdar, Nastasja Budjevac, Olga Srejić, Hilal Menlioglu, Damjan Balkoski, Marinela Arsovska, Gökhan Aydın, Ivona Krnjaić, Uroš Anzeljc

Why PP in Skopje? The public playgrounds are urban installations which react to the lack of initiatives for activating open spaces in Skopje. They are based on personal interpretations of the public spaces around MKC - Youth Cultural Centre in Skopje. The installations are smart, small, highly visible and point out possible scenarios for alternative use of the public space. The public playgrounds are places that invite and provoke interaction. Through open access of public spaces to various social groups, we tried to understand the variety of uses of public spaces and answer the questions such as: How to create places that invite and provoke curiosity for interaction? How to raise awareness on the importance of public space and show its potentials? How to test different solutions to issues in public space through short-term and temporary interventions? The general idea of the interventions was to use the existing elements from the area and transforming them with minimal amount of materials and time. Once the installations were placed on site they received immediate and positive reaction from the citizens, while local media published an article about them. Why ProstoRož, Ivana Kostovska and Velimir Žernovski? Every project that ProstoRož develops is trying to raise the awareness of the meaning of public spaces and of building strong local communities that are capable of active involvement in managing their own environment. They do this by both small and large scale interventions and interactions with the citizens and the city officials. This approach is non-existent in Skopje and although there is a lot of buzz around public space there is no real initiatives. We invited them in Skopje to test an approach inspired from their interaction with the city together with the local architect Ivana Kostovska and the renowned artist Velimir Žernovski that are both active and successful in the local context of Skopje.




to collect relevant and current information on the urban tendencies of Skopje. The gathered information feeds the interactive-web-platform which is a medium that connects the research with the citizen and is user friend-

SkopjeCreative.Net is an cross disciplinary urban research that feeds in an interactive, public web-platform.

ly. The research group then proposes scenarios for development for one particular area by activating existing

The project started as a part of Rethinking Skopje: Interdisciplinary Urban Research workshop during the

and abandoned infrastructures both physical and virtual. The only similar initiative has been the online plat-

Skopje Creative Hub 2014. The project is on-going and aimed at becoming an independent and long-term re-

form that is limited to one housing area in Skopje.

search collaboration. The future of the platform is to become a residence for interdisciplinary urban research that will host both loSkopjeCreative.Net reacts to the overall lack of publicly accessible analytical data about the potentials for

cal and international experts to work and analyse new sets of relevant data and develop strategic scenarios for

urban development of Skopje oriented towards empowerment of the citizens. In the recent years Skopje has

sustainable growth of the city.

experienced rapid growth and extreme transformations catered to the private developer while its urban fabric has been re-engineered many times. Yet, the plans and transformations are relying on out-dated, 25 year old, statistical data without current population census available. Besides these transformations, we believe that the citizens do not have either the access to the relevant data nor the tools necessary in order to react and become engaged in these processes. They are merely passive spectators in their own city. In contrast to the current tendencies that reshape our surroundings, we propose scenarios based on analysis of spatial relationships, social layers, youth unemployment, economic value, abandoned buildings and underused infrastructure which are oriented towards sustainable and inclusive growth of Skopje. How would the current transformations the city change if we already had an analytical and scenario based proposals for growth like the ones we develop at SkopjeCreative.Net? Can we imagine this type of engagement as a tool for influencing policy making? What if we develop scenarios that can contest the taken for granted transformations of the city? Certainly, these kind of initiatives do not exist in Skopje and the violent changes are perceived as unalterable reality. Would their policies lose credibility and interest if we propose viable alternatives? This is precisely the type of thinking that we are challenging with this project. Instead of speculating we orient towards in-depth research. The research collaborative group is consisted of students, young professionals and experts from various creative fields (architecture, cultural studies, urban planning, sociology, web-design) that deploy techniques of mapping, overlap of mapped data, observations, interviews, field survey and statistical data analysis in order



SCH AT BIO50: NOW 24 BIENNIAL OF DESIGN Ljubljana, Slovenia



SCH was selected as a participant in the parallel program at BIO 50: NOW, Biennial of Design in Ljubljana, Slovenia. We titled the event SKLJ14 which consists of two parts that connect the three participating organizations: Macedonian Cultural Society - Gallery MKD Ljubljana, City Creative Network (CCN) Skopje and ProstoRož, Ljubljana. ProstoRož is a public space initiative and our collaborator at the Skopje Creative Hub 2014. For many years the force behind BIO’s foundation was the ambition to establish design as an integral part of the industrial production of objects for a better everyday life. However, in a world driven by consumerism, oversaturated with products and projects, the goal of the design discipline shifts towards creating networks that ignite collaborative and community oriented initiatives, which was the main idea behind this year’s BIO50. The first event was a presentation of the SCH at the Gallery MKD Ljubljana focusing on the problems of public space, observed through the examples of different environments in Skopje. The event took the form of presentations and debates, where we presented projects of detection and reinterpretation of degraded public space that was discussed at Skopje Creative Hub 2014. The second event was titled Day of Open Spaces, organized by ProstoRož, that was at the same time mark of their 10 year anniversary. This event was an attempt to temporarily occupy abandoned construction sites, which are abundant in Ljubljana, and stand as a grim symbol for the failed speculative building developments. The idea of ProstoRož comes at a moment where these abandoned sites are being rethought by the local authorities and is building on their efforts to make these places publicly accessible. This initiative deepens the dialogue between the NGO’s and the city officials. A large number of NGO’s from Slovenia were invited, together with CCN from Macedonia to make a one day festival of presentations, culinary events, games and musical performances in one abandoned construction site. The event was also an opportunity to create a network and get to know all of the interesting work of the various NGO’s. CCN together with the Macedonian Cultural Society prepared a traditional Macedonian dish called Ajvar. It is made by many hours of roasting and processing peppers, usually conducted outdoors and rooted in the social milieu of Macedonia as a public ritual that takes place every autumn on the streets. Through this event we tried to contest the lack of such outdoor activities in Ljubljana, besides the high design quality of the public places.




kyo Institute of Technology. He is a PhD candidate

which focused on actions for community building


at the chair of Prof. Philip Ursprung, Institute for the

and participation with Elke Krasny from Academy

History and theory of Architecture gta/ETH Zurich

of Fine Arts in Vienna, Miodrag Mitrosinović from

Ensamble (Zurich)


and guest researcher at the Curatorial/Knowledge

Parsons New School of Architecture in New York

Ensamble is a group of young architects, teachers

CCN is NGO that operates as an international net-

program of Goldsmiths University London. His dis-

and STEALTH.unlimited from Amsterdam. He is co-

and makers in Zurich. The group met at ETH Zurich

work of young professionals from various creative

sertation investigates the rise of a new professional

founder of City Creative Network (CCN) and works

and EPFL Lausanne in Switzerland, where some

disciplines based in Skopje. Our work is defined by

figure: the international planning expert, during the

on various initiatives, projects and research that con-

currently teach and research. They are working with

cross- disciplinary, critical and innovative approach

rebuilding of Skopje after the devastating earthquake

nect urban planning, activism and city authorities.

drawings, books, buildings, everyday objects and

to urbanity. We develop strategic concepts and con-

in 1963, characterized by a comprehensive Unit-

duct research for activating and development of pub-

ed Nations expert mission. He is co-founder of City

lic space. As both practice based and educational net-

Creative Network (CCN) and works on various initi-

work, CCN connects authorities, planners, architects,

atives, projects and research that connect urban plan-

Neda Firfova (Skopje/Tokyo)

entrepreneurs and citizens for a more sustainable,

ning, activism and city authorities. He is a contribu-

Neda is an artist, designer and researcher. Her

strategic and balanced urban development. CCN is

tor to the exhibition: Metabolism: The City of the

practice questions the printed medium as a symbol of

RADiUs Architects (Skopje)

intended to grow into an idea-generating and educa-

Future at Mori Art Museum in Tokyo and curator of

established truth in the digital age, and the modernist

RADiUs is an architecture and design studio situated

tional centre with a shared database, a reservoir of

the exhibition titled Performative Archive: Skopje at

invention of the grid as a basic tool for the demo-

in Skopje, Macedonia founded by award winning

fresh design proposals and relevant knowledge for

gta Exhibitions, Zurich.

cratic distribution of printed information. Often

Macedonian architects Martin Panovski / Aleksandar

articulated in – or speculating with – printed media,

Naumceski / Jana Gugulovska / Dusica Dinovska.

alternative use of public space. CCN connects to the


design research. They are seeking for an Idea of a Visual identity and graphic design

construction and design performed in a collective. The centre of their design research, lies in the spatial possibilities in our environment and imagination.

most ground-breaking creative tendencies currently

Milan Dinevski (Skopje/Ljubljana)

her practice suggests more open approaches towards

The team is driven by the need for a sensitive and

existing in Skopje and expands their field of action. It

Milan is an architect, holder of a MArch degree from

information distributions. It frequently stresses re-

responsible development of the physical

is a network that acts on local level but also address-

the Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana.

verse editorial processes, such that it invites – and

context in which people live/act. Radius architects

es general problems in urban space on regional and

He worked at the BevkPerovic Architects office in

integrates – interventions by collaborators, and the

have been actively involved in the architectural and

European level. CCN is a place where young profes-

Ljubljana as an architect. He was also invited by Ar-

audience. These experiments contribute to a mode of

cultural discourse in Macedonia and in the Balkans,

sionals meet>collaborate>create>act.

chipelagos design studio from New York to collabo-

inquiry that reframes and repurposes the way graphic

having taken part in public debates, exhibitions,

rate on a project proposal for the New National Uni-

designers claim authority. Since 2012, she co-runs

research and publications organized or initiated by

Damjan Kokalevski (Skopje/Zurich)

versity Library in Ljubljana. As a part of KUD C3

the design platform and studio Modesty, and since

the Association of Architects of Macedonia, the Mac-

Damjan is an architect, holder of a BArch degree

from Ljubljana, he was one of the organizers and cu-

2014 she works as a researcher at Musashino

edonian Biennale of Architecture, the Skopje Design

from TU Vienna and a MArch degree from the To-

rators of the conference titled: Building Public-ness

Art University, Tokyo.

Week etc.



Elena Dinovska (Skopje)

broad spectrum of projects in the thematic fields;

practice dedicated to high-level research and design

plore and understand the open city space. ProstoRož

Elena is a multimedia artist and designer currently

City & Neighbourhood, Gender & Diversity, Chil-

on a variety of subjects, concerned with contempo-

combines architects, sociologists, jurists, designers

working as a freelance set designer. She has studied

dren & Young People, Open Spaces & Landscaping,

rary architecture and urbanism. The philosophy of

and many others who work to examine and open up

in Skopje, Florence and Milan and has a BA degree

Sustainability & Mobility and Environment & Water.

UTT is to deliver innovative yet practical solutions

new possibilities of public space use. They try to

through the combined skills of architects, civil engi-

raise awareness of the meaning of public spaces and

in Interior Design and MA degree in Digital Environment Design. Her portfolio documents her multiple

NaTochak (Skopje)

neers, environmental planners, landscape architects,

of building strong local communities that are capable

interests in film, theatre, graphic, interior and product

NaTochak is an initiative of people from Skopje who

and communication specialists.

of active involvement in managing their own envi-

design with a special focus on set design.

use the bike as a means of transportation, promote

ronment. The roles that they play as NGO besides

it as such and ask for better conditions for cycling

Marko Icev (Skopje)

taking initiatives for actions and advocacy of public

Florian Lorenz (Smarter Than Car/PlanSinn Vienna)

in the city. The group primarily was formed around

Marko is an architect, designer, urban planner cur-

spaces range from planning to connecting residents

Florian is an interdisciplinary planner and communi-

the idea of having a Critical Mass in the city (April

rently based in Skopje. He studied architecture at

with city officials.

cations expert based in Vienna, Austria. He sees Bi-

2012) and turning the public attention towards cy-

Philadelphia University and the AA School of Archi-

cycle Urbanism as critical strategy for the liveability

clists, benefits of cycling and lack of infrastructure,

tecture in London, and holds a Master of Science de-

Ivana Kostovska (Skopje)

of future cities. Florian is a director at Smarter Than

but with time, NaTochak started communicating with

gree in Architecture and Urban Design from the Pratt

Ivana is an architect and interior designer. She was

Car, engaged in urban research, critical thinking and

the relevant institutions, giving concrete critiques,

Institute. His selected projects include analysis of

architect in charge for the rebuilding of the zoologi-

urban advocacy.

remarks and proposals for making Skopje a bicycle

public housing in Philadelphia, PA (PHA); design

cal garden in Skopje. She participated in various

friendly city. NaTochak through its

of Fulton square in Brooklyn NY (with GroundUp

workshops about revival of public spaces. In Skopje

Smarter Than Car (STC) is a think tank dedicated

activities tries to impact the development of the

Designers); prototype modular city office space for

she worked on a scenario for revival of the left bank

to questions of Bicycle Urbanism and Future Urban

city’s bicycle culture.

Google (Pratt Institute), Art Not Arrests public

of the Vardar river and Revitalization of the Old

Mobility operating in Beijing and Vienna. As an

garden design (with GroundUp Designers, Brooklyn,

bazaar. Her most recent project was about reactivat-

interdisciplinary group with open-source attitude STC Haris Piplas - Urban Think Tank (ETH Zurich)

NY), curating the 2012/2013 lecture series for the

ing public space together with the citizens of Graca, Lisbon.

engages in urban research and advocacy. Smarter

Since 2011 Haris is affiliated with ETH Zurich D-

AAM - Skopje, and more. His work and research

Than Car sees the bicycle as a key element for sus-

ARCH Urban-Think Tank Brillembourg & Klump-

focuses on issues of the urban context, history and

tainable urban environments in a post-carbon world.

ner Chair where he writes his Doctoral Dissertation

futurism, sci-fi, design and the media, sequential arts

Velimir Zernovski (Skopje)

and coordinates the “Urban Design I/II: Urban Sto-

and most currently - excess.

Velimir is one of the most active artists in the region.

PlanSinn is a planning and communication consul-

ries” Lecture Series and the SNSF project on urban

tancy based in Vienna, Austria. Working exclusively

transformations in the Central-East European region.

ProstoRož (Ljubljana)

object installations in public space, writing and pub-

for the public sector, Plansinn’s team is engaged in a

Urban-Think Tank is an interdisciplinary design

ProstoRož started spontaneously with a desire to ex-

lishing artist books he is exploring notions of iden-


Through the media of drawings, videos, installations,


tity, urbanity and popular culture as well as sexuality

Prof. Tadej Glažar (FA Ljubljana)

Dehaene, Art and Activism in the Age of Globaliza-

museum of contemporary arts Belgrade, who in 2013

and gender identity. From 2008 he is co-founder and

Tadej Glažar is Professor at the Faculty of Architec-

tion, co-edited with Karel van Haesebrouck and Ru-

published the book of the same title, in which she

president of FRIK Cultural Initiatives development

ture in Ljubljana and Associate Dean in the field of

ben De Roo (2011), De oorsprongen of het Boek der

was through the work of one architect exploring the

Formation, organization which

inter-university cooperation. He earned his degree

Verbazing (The origins of The book of amazement)

context of export of architectural and civil engineer-

is working on motivation of socially engaged art

in Architecture at the same Faculty of Architecture

and Entropic Empire. On the City of Man in the Age

ing knowledge from Yugoslavia to the non-aligned,

production and society democratization, beyond

Ljubljana and completed his postgraduate studies

of Fear (2012). He is co-founder of the BRussells

mostly, African countries. She continues to work on

prejudices and stereotypes. In 2013 he co-founded

at Berlage Institute Amsterdam, Netherlands. As


the topic, as the PhD researcher at the chair of Philip

IPAK Centre - Research Centre for Cultures, Politics

architectural practitioner he worked in the offices

and Identities in Belgrade, Serbia.

of Herman Hertzberger and Willem Jan Neutelings,

Prof. Mechtild Widrich (University of Basel/School

Netherlands. He is an active teacher and guest critic

of the Art Institute of Chicago)

at ETH Zurich, TU Vienna, TU Graz, Split, Zagreb,

Mechtild Widrich is Assistant Professor of Contem-

Bekim Ramku (KAF, Prishtina)

Trieste, Lausanne, Madrid. He is part of the editorial

porary Art History at the School of the Art Institute

Bekim is a practicing architect, curator, critic, founder

Prof. Philip Ursprung (gta/ETH Zurich)

board of the architectural magazine ORIS, Zagreb,

of Chicago and author of Performative Monuments.

of the Kosovo Architecture Foundation (KAF) and

Philip Ursprung is Professor of the History of Art

Croatia. Participated at public protests in Slovenia

The Rematerialisation of Public Art (Manchester

the Pristina Architecture Week. Apart from running

and Architecture at ETH Zürich. He earned his

2012 and 2013 he is supporting social participation

University Press, 2014), as well as co-editor of Ugli-

KAF and PAW Bekim heads the “Office of Urban

PhD in Art History at Freie Universität Berlin after

in architectural design.

ness. The Non-Beautiful in Art and Theory (London:

Drafters+Architecture” a multidisciplinary practice

I.B. Tauris, 2013).

based in Pristina. He was educated in Architecture


studying in Geneva, Vienna and Berlin, and taught at

Ursprung, Institute of History and Theory of Architecture, ETH Zurich.

the HdK Berlin, the GSAPP of Columbia Univer-

Prof. Lieven de Cauter (KU Leuven)

sity, the Barcelona Institute of Architecture and the

Lieven De Cauter is a philosopher, art historian

Dubravka Sekulić (gta/ETH Zurich, Belgrade)

his MA in Housing and Urbanism from the AA

University of Zürich. At CCA in Montréal he curated

and writer. He teaches philosophy of culture in the

Dubravka is an architect researching transforma-

School of Architecture in London. Before establishing

Herzog & de Meuron: Archeology of the Mind and

Department of Architecture of KU Leuven, Luca,

tions of contemporary cities, at the nexus between

the KAF Bekim initiated and commissioned Kosovo’s

edited the catalogue Herzog & de Meuron: Natural

and RITS, school of arts. He has published some

production of space, laws and economy. In 2012

first entry at the Architecture Exhibition of the Venice

History (2002). He edited Caruso St John: Almost

dozen books: on contemporary art, experience and

Jan van Eyck published her book Glotzt nicht so

Biennale in 2012 and is currently serving as an Assis-

Everything (2008). His most recent work is Allan

modernity, on Walter Benjamin and more recently on

romantisch! on extra-legal space in Belgrade as well

tant Commissioner at the 2014 Biennale exhibition.

Kaprow, Robert Smithson, and the Limits to Art

architecture, the city and politics. His latest books:

as the book Surfing the black Yugoslav black cinema

Jasna Stefanovska (AF Skopje)

(University of California Press, 2013). He is director

The Capsular Civilization. On the City in the Age of

and its transgression that she co-edited with Gal Kirn

Jasna graduated from the Faculty of Architecture in

of the research project “Conflicting Identities: Repre-

Fear (2004); Heterotopia and the city. Public space

and Ziga Testen. Same year she authored an exhibi-

Skopje, and holds a Master of Science degree from

sentational Politics and Counterculture in Yugoslavia

in a post civil society (2008), co-edited with Michiel

tion Three points of support: Zoran Bojovic at the

the Faculty of Architecture at TU Delft where she

Engineering at the University of Pristina and gained

during the Cold War.”



graduated cum laude with a thesis on the voids of

“muscle up” to do something to engage us, that will

activities within its programs for: Non-Formal Edu-

New Orleans and their reconsiderations after the

keep us euphoric and will bring us a sense that we

cation, Analysis, Research and Creation of Youth and

events of 2005. She has published her research in

managed to do something that others enjoy ... because

Education Policies, Youth activism. MOF defines

ACSC - Autonomy Cultural and Social Center

Urbani Izziv, Built Environment and Follies, and


the following strategic priorities: Development of


critical thought of the youth, promotion of freedom

ACSC is a friend to all progressive ideas and values,

have lectured on urban transformations in post-so-

gender, sex, natural rights and the common good.

cialist contexts in Ljubljana, Seville, Sofia and Tartu.

SAM - Skate Association of Macedonia (Skopje)

of expression and informing of the youth. Promotion

to different political and ideological attitudes, to

She is an assistant at the Faculty of Architecture in

SAM is a multidisciplinary group of young creatives

of the youth policies on local and national level. Pro-

the disadvantaged and marginalized, to the fight

Skopje and at present she is completing her PhD on

and skateboarders. Using multimedia stories and

motion of the youth organization and youth activism,

for human rights and the fight for a better and more

the theme of post-socialist transformations of capital

physical interventions they present to the citizens

based on the principles of democracy, human rights

righteous society, and is the number one enemy of

cities at the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana.

of Skopje their initiative for making the city more

and pluralism.

political manipulation, limited party interests, rac-

skate-friendly. Their work also includes developing

ism, nationalism, homophobia, sexism, defamation

Giulio Margheri and Roel van Herpt (Strelka

multifunctional urban elements incorporated in the

Matra Mojsova (Skopje)

of people, bias, media spins, lies, religious intoler-

Institute, Moscow)

city space that create fluid interaction between the

Marta is an interior designer, currently working as a

ance and any type of violence. ACSC in fact aims

Giulio Margheri and Roel van Herpt work together

skate culture and the citizens.

general interior designer in “GMS- project” studio.

to embody the creative resistance against the system

She has studied in Skopje and Barcelona, and has

and the agents of political and economic power.

on urban strategies and design solutions. They started to collaborate as an interdisciplinary design and con-

IZLEZ - Student magazine (Skopje)

BA degree in “Interior Design” and MA degree in

sultancy team while working at the Strelka Institute

Association of Citizens “Student organization

“Interior Design for Commercial Spaces”. Her port-

for Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow in

IZLEZ” was established in March 2010. The organi-

folio documents her multiple interests in projects that


zation aims to support student initiatives to create

involve sustainable and eco design. She organized

opportunities for free expression and / or improve

and participated in various workshops in her current

the quality of higher education as well as student life

biggest interest - Reuse Design.

Public program

in Macedonia. The organization is run and operated Tiiiit! Inc. (Skopje)

entirely by students and young people.

Tiiiit! Inc. is a small flame of excitement shared

FRIK (Skopje) Frik is a collective created in 2008 in Skopje. They

by four Skopjanki (girls from Skopje) who want to

MOF - Youth Educational Forum (Skopje)

act in public space through direct interventions using

rejoice in this city. And when those situations are

The mission of the MOF is to provide positioning of

visual arts, music, performance in order to initiate

becoming rarer and circles increasingly closed up,

the youth as а relevant social factor in Macedonia.

diverse readings, meanings and answers to the ques-

we decided to take the air, start enthusiastically and

MOF accomplishes its mission through realization of

tions about existing concepts in the understanding of



Colophon Publisher: CITY CREATIVE NETWORK (CCN) Skopje Editors-in-chief: Milan Dinevski, Damjan Kokalevski Design: Neda Firfova Proofreading: Marko Icev Photographs: Ana Lazarevska; p. 20, 21 Boris Jurmovski; p. 39 Lieven de Cauter; p. 43, 48 CS: Constructing a Stage; p. 83 photos 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 CS: Constructing a Stage; p. 85 photos 2, 5 Nikola Spasenoski; photo 4 BUU: Bicycle Urbanism Unit; p. 93 CCN - City Creative Network; p. 95 Katja Sušnik Print : Datapons; Edition: 250 CCN would like to thank: Jana Stardelova, Darko Krstevski, Ivana Vidovska and Globko Logistics, J.P. Gradski Parking Skopje, Hi Skopje Hostel,, IF Creativa, Adv. Slavica Anastasovska, Hotel Duvet, Gallery MKD Ljubljana, CAC Skopje CIP - Каталогизација во публикација Национална и универзитетска библиотека “Св. Климент Охридски”, Скопје 316.654-053.6:725(497.711) 316.7:316.346.32-053.6(497.711) SKOPJE CREATIVE HUB 2014: New Content in Public Space / edited by Damjan Kokalevski and Milan Dinevski; [design Neda Firfova; photographs Ana Lazarevska]. - Skopje: CCN - City Creative Network, 2015. - 104 стр.:илустр.;18x22 см ISBN 978-608-65834-0-8 а) Младински активизам - Урбана средина - Скопје б) Млади -Креативно изразување - Архитектура - Уметност - Скопје COBISS.MK-ID 98599434

Supporters: Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development The City of Skopje MKC - Youth Cultural Center Skopje


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