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Between Myth & Utopia A Perspective Atlas for the former Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia


“I am at war with my time, with history, with all authority that resides in fixed and frightened forms,� Lebbeus Woods, War and Architecture


Between Myth & Utopia A Perspective Atlas for the former S.F.R. of Yugoslavia Issue 01 Syracuse University Architecture Skopje, Macedonia 2019 Editor in Chief Prof. Mitesh Dixit Editors Lawrence M. Boyer Ava I. Helm Copy Editor Lindsey M. Brown Research Coordinator Tamara Marović Exhibition Designers Lawrence Michael Boyer Lindsey M. Brown Margaret Mary Frank Ava I. Helm Tota Kismedinova Hunter Julia Ocejo Vivanco Dean Prof. Michael Speaks, Ph.D. Associate Dean Prof. Julia Czerniak Instructors Prof. Mitesh Dixit Visiting Critic Tamara Marović Researchers Daria Agapitova Lawrence M. Boyer Lindsey M. Brown Jing Ying Chin Junzhi Deng Ximeng Luo Margaret M. Frank Ava I. Helm Tota Kismedinova Hunter Ecenur Menki Eve M. Miserlian Julia Ocejo Vivanco Houston Parke Shihui Zhu

Type Face Garamond Garamond Bold Garamond Italic Garamond Bold Italic Paper Arctic Paper G-Print Publisher Galak Galaksijanis Sijanis Skopje, MK Publication National Library of Macedonia ISBN 999-9-9999-9999-9


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(B)eing v. (b)eing Introduction Mitesh Dixit

In Time & Being Heidegger attempts to destroy our standard, traditional philosophical vocabulary and replace it with something new. What Heidegger seeks to destroy in particular is a certain picture of the relation between human beings and the world that is widespread in modern philosophy and whose source is Descartes. Roughly and readily, this is the idea that there are two sorts of substances in the world: thinking things like us (subjects) and extended things (objects), like tables, chairs and indeed the entire fabric of space and time. The relation between thinking things and extended things is one of knowledge and the philosophical and indeed scientific task consists in ensuring that what a later tradition called “subject” might have access to a world of objects.  Prior to this dualistic picture of the relation between human beings and the world lies a deeper unity that he tries to capture in the formula “Dasein is being-in-the-world”. If the human being is really being-in-the-world, then this entails that the world itself is part of the fundamental constitution of what it means to be human. That is to say, I am not a free floating self or ego facing a world of objects that stands over against me. Rather, for Heidegger, I am my world. The world is part and parcel of my being, of the fabric of my existence. We might capture the sense of Heidegger’s thought here by thinking of Dasein not as a subject distinct from a world of objects, but as an experience of openness where my being and that of the world are not distinguished for the most part. I am completely fascinated and absorbed by my world, not cut off from it.  I am IN the world and the world is IN me. This seminar has one ambition: to be IN the Balkans.  Not as an architect or consumer, but as being who can appreciate the complexity and beauty in the everyday.  Architects want to save, help, liberate, etc. but what are we really doing?  We are imposing our values on a system and environment that has a meaning and complexity independent of us…there are infinite perspectives to every condition, and it is futile to attempt to ‘know’ each one, However, recognizing that your perspective is just one of many, it will allow for one to listen and perhaps learn from. Thus the ambition of the course is to resist our insatiable desire to ‘solve’, but simply listen, record and mostly importantly be IN the Balkans.

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Bosnia & Herzegovina

Croatia

Area: Pop:

Area: Pop:

41.000 sq. km. 3.50 M

Republic of Macedonia

Kosovo Area: Pop:

10.908 sq. km. 1.83 M

Serbia

Area: Pop:

Area: Pop:

13.812 sq. km. 0.64 M

Slovenia

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Area: Pop:

Montenegro

Area: Pop:

56.594 sq. km. 4.28 M

20.273 sq. km. 2.07 M

25.713 sq. km. 2.10 M

77.474 sq. km. 7.00 M


Former S.F.R. of Yugoslavia

Pre-1945 Kingdom of Serbs, Croatia, and Slovenes 1945-1963 Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia 1963-1992 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Post-1992 The Break Up of Yugoslavia into Independent States

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Content

(B)eing v (b)eing Mitesh Dixit

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Between Myth & Utopia Mitesh Dixit & Tamara Marović

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Bridge Ximeng Luo & Shihui Zhu

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Color Jing Ying Chin & Eve Marjorie Miserlian

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All Work / No Labor Mitesh Dixit

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Erosion Lindsey Brown & Junzhi Deng

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Monument Daria Agapitova & Margaret Mary Frank

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The Need for Desire Lawrence M. Boyer

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Slab Lawrence M. Boyer & Ava I. Helm

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Void Tota Kismedinova Hunter & Julia Ocejo Vivanco

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Moment / Memory Tamara Marović

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Between Myth & Utopia Architecture as Infrastructure Mitesh Dixit & Tamara Marovic “Every revolution is worth as much as it’s capable of constantly developing and defending its attainments”

- J.B. Tito

Tito’s Yugoslavia was quick to distance itself from Stalin’s USSR in the immediate postwar years and began a so-called “Third Way” of economic and international policy. This form of governance paved the way for a collection of strong local authorities who shared the national incentive to embrace a new period of architecture, culture and ideas. Architecture played its part in a wider cultural shift from independent states each with their own complex history to the federal state which Tito sought to create. Tito cast the creation of postwar Yugoslavia as a liberation from fascism, class oppression, and underdevelopment. The new nation — a federation that joined Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Serbia (plus the autonomous Serbian provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina) — was founded on the ideals of “brotherhood and unity.” The nationbuilding enterprise was expressly designed to suppress ethnic and regional rivalries; and in evading absorption into the Soviet Eastern Bloc, Tito broke the Balkan region’s long history of domination by remote imperial powers. Indeed, Tito’s signal accomplishment was to position Yugoslavia as the avatar of the “Third Way”; geographically and ideologically, an independent zone between the capitalist West and communist East Staking this ground at the interstices of the Cold War divide gave Yugoslav artists and architects the freedom to choose from models and trends on either side. While embracing socialist ideals, Yugoslavia eschewed the social realism of Stalinist Russia and gravitated instead toward the abstraction of western European modernism; an inclination already evident in the region before World War II. Thus, the construction of the new Yugoslavia, literally and metaphorically, became a vast modernist project; modernist thinking and design were deployed to guide the country’s rapid urbanization and industrialization as well as to unify the ethnically, religiously, and culturally diverse population. This course will examine three forms of architecture implemented as infrastructure under Tito’s regime to realize the formation of The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In this course, students will investigate three typologies in which architecture was employed as infrastructure in the former Yugoslavia: New Belgrade, Serbia; Sea Side resorts along the Adriatic Coast; Tange’s Masterplan in Skopje, Macedonia. Employing forensics, analysis, journalism and physical documentation, students will develop a methodology to separate and examine the elements which define the layers of the built environment. Students will simultaneously unpack the physical conditions of a defined site, and through selected readings, examine the dominant ideologies that have created both its hard & soft contours. A trajectory of integrated seminars, lectures, and tutorials will enable us to catalogue and document the varying investigations into new methods of architectural illustration and mapping. The collective work of the course will be organized into a single document: Between Myth & Utopia: A Perspective Balkan Atlas

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BRIDGE CONNECTIONS | SPACE| IDEOLOGY Ximeng Luo & Shihui Zhu

Block 21, New Belgrade

The bridge, conventionally perceived as a means of transportation or a passage that spans over a physical obstacle, is interpreted in this research as a metaphor for media that simultaneously connect and separate spaces and experiences. Expanding from the common imagery of the bridge’s physical linearity, a metaphorical bridge can be an overpass, a corridor, or a tunnel, overthrowing the directionality of traditional bridges. This narrow space blurs the boundary between two substances generating different spatial and emotional experiences connecting beginnings to ends and ends to beginnings. In Belgrade, Serbia, the metaphorical bridge can be categorized into exterior and interior connections. Conventional bridges connect old and new Belgrade as well as ideologies, and the overpasses in new Belgrade connect block to block. These exterior bridging spaces provide physical links for residents of the city. Hallways and tunnels, as internal passages within the blocks, connect more intimate aspects of collective

living despite physical accessibility. Residents display details of their lives as they navigate through these spaces leading off to different destinations while inevitably encountering other individuals sharing the same block. As these “bridges” stand long in the same place as the decades have passed, their corresponding qualities react toward the urban/ architectural fabric during the area’s ideological and economic transition can be recognized as the reaction of culture toward the chaos of the time. The research gathers photographic information on these bridges in selective spots across Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, and Macedonia, analyzing the original design purpose and current use. It aims to archive the collective memory of former Yugoslavia through the exploration of these functional, banal spaces, and as a result, one glimpses how a society reacts to an architecture that carries strong vestiges of past ideology.


Bridge

Pa th | on

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An exterior space that loosely connects point A to point B. The passenger is in direct contact with the ambient. They receive and access information with ease and thus are to wander off to other spaces freely.

Cor r i d or | th r o u g h An interior or exterior space with multiple destinations. Often only one out of all is the accessible end. Point A and B are different for each individual.

T hr es hol d | a cr o s s A liminal space that marks the beginning of a new experience or a transitional position that signifies the entrance to another space.

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Definitions

New Belgrade

Between Myth & Utopia

Seaside Resorts

Skopje

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Payne, Stanley. A History of Fascism, 1914-1945. Routledge, 1996. Robert Stuart, Marxism and national identity, 2006.


The idea of Yellow Socialism was developed in 1902 by Pierre Biétry as an alternative to “Red Socialism” advocated by Marxists. It proposes a loose grip on power by the leader and an economic system in which workers organize in a way similar to corporate groups. The concept was criticized for nationalism. Despite its rightwing populist inclination, it was nonetheless an alternative to Red Socialism. Yellow Socialism sought to bridge Socialism and Capitalism and combines the successful aspects of each. This chapter symbolizes the color yellow as an ideology that continues the idea of bridging two ends. The bridge consequently becomes the approach through which the state realizes its ideology.


Bridge

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Housing plan, Block 63

Housing plan, Block 21

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Corridor

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Interior corridor, Block 63

Planners and designers, aware of the importance of public encounters under a socialist regime, designed ample public spaces for architectural and urban projects. Passageways, referred to as metaphorical bridges throughout this research, are not the most prominent public space, yet due to their functional purpose of connecting two destinations, might be the most active, for example corridors in New Belgrade’s housing blocks. The dark, narrow space connects private units to stairs and elevators, sometimes a shared storage or balcony. The residents inevitably run into each other when waiting for the elevator, checking mailboxes, taking out the trash, and et cetera. This communal lifestyle creates a rather intimate neighborly relationship through the residents’ sharing of a particular space and constructs the community’s consciousness. In Halbwachs’ essay “on collective memory”, he states,“The reason members of a group remain united, even after scattering and finding nothing in their new physical surroundings to recall the home they have left, is that they think of the old home and its layout…”

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Bridge

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Corridor

Corridors in socialist housing projects are a more intimate form of a bridge compared to others examined in this research. A corridor is the place where the private realm blends with the public and hence is a space that facilitates social activities between residents.

1 2 3 4 5 6

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The Yugoslavian socialist imagination of society relies on the concept of the collective, a unit in which individuals share, if not create, a collective identity. Instead of pursuing material success as the Soviet Union eagerly did under Stalinism, Tito’s goal was more Hegelian: ideal comes before material. Tito aimed for the creation of a Yugoslavian identity that goes beyond ethnic and national boundaries, that serves as a bond to tie his people together, and that allows the material aspects of socialism to be realized. Tito proposed a less rigid socialism, one that is “soft� and is able to adjust itself to specific conditions across the territory of the republic (Weiss). The regime lays emphasis on a unified collective psychology that derives from interactions between individuals in a collective - trivial interactions, conscious or not, that happens in banal connecting spaces.

interior corridor in Block 63, New Belgrade interior corridor in Block 62, New Belgrade interior corridor in Block 62, New Belgrade interior corridor in Block 62, New Belgrade a fence defining shared space for private use interior corridor in Block 21, New Belgrade residents store personal items in the shared space exterior corridor in Block 21, New Belgrade with storefronts

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Bridge

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Corridor

I 1 2 3 4 5 6

interior corridor leading to rooms, Hotel Biserna Obala, Montenegro exterior corridor leaeding to adjacent buildng, Hotel Pelegrin, Croatia exterior corridor leading to rooms, Hotel Pelegrin, Croatia interior corridor leading to rooms, Children’s Health Resort, Croatia exterior corridor leading to rooms, Children’s Health Resort, Croatia interior corridor leading to rooms, Hotel Marina LuÄ?ica, Croatia

II 1 2 3 4 5 6

interior corridor leading to rooms, Hotel Krystal, Croatia interior corridor leading to rooms, Hotel Ambasador, Croatia interior corridor, Hotel Adriatic, Croatia exterior corridor, Hotel Haludovo, Croatia interior corridor leading to rooms, Hotel Haludovo, Croatia interior corridor, Hotel Haludovo, Croatia

Between Myth & Utopia

Corridors in socialist seaside resorts are a bridge between the private and public realm always leading to a certain destination(s). Unlike their counterparts in housing blocks where familiar faces meet, corridors in hotels are places for unexpected encounters between strangers from different parts of the republic. Most of the corridors observed in the abandoned structures do not have visual access to the exterior except at the ends, for the private sector within a collective holiday resort was not as valued as the public spaces. Long, closed corridors in renovated resorts are often lightened by large windows or are opened to interior courtyards to keep the space bright and pleasant, as in the Hotel Adriatic. The corridor is an extension of public realm, though narrow and unpleasant at times, and carries the function of extending newly established relationships in a more intimate setting.

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Between Myth & Utopia

Bridge

Main entrance, Hotel Haludovo, Malinska, Croatia

doors to the pool, Hotel Ambasador, Opatija, Croatia

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Threshold

and to establish a shared identity based on relaxing, delightful physical experiences. Resorts were used as an infrastructure that “mediate between the collective and personal spheres,â€? (MrduljaĹĄ). The threshold between the exterior natural environment to the well-decorated interior of seaside resorts is equivalent to the entrance of a special collective education where people of different ethnicities, even different nationalities, mingle. The entrance of Hotel Haludovo separates the natural exterior from the constructed environment. Passing through this corridor indicates entering a social space with restrictions and, to some extent, surveillance. The door opening to the pool in Hotel Ambasador, however, leads to another artificial environment with less constraints compared to the hotel interior.

Between Myth & Utopia

The threshold is a transitional process, a moment that connects two different experiences. In this chapter, it is interpreted as a piece of physical space serving as the signifier of the introduction of a new space. The threshold can be a space with thickness or simply a critical line like a door. Various thresholds are identified and documented throughout this chapter. Thresholds in socialist seaside resorts of the former Republic of Yugoslavia are structures that open to a unique collective experience. The republic considers free time as part of the production cycle, and it should, therefore, be planned and potentially controlled. State and labor union owned resorts grew out of the tourist tradition along the Croatian Adriatic coast as the government encouraged the population to travel, to experience the geographical context of the state,

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Between Myth & Utopia

Bridge

Main entrance, Hotel Pelegrin, Kupari, Croatia

Hotel Pelegrin is built on a risen platform facing the Adriatic Sea. The lobby, an open space connecting the main entrance stairs and the interior courtyard, bridges the experience of the exterior to a social space with behavioral restrictions. The resort was built by Czech investors between the two world wars and had attracted numerous visitors during holidays. It was a place where Yugoslavian military elites meet foreigners.

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Threshold

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Doors leading to examination rooms, Children’s Health Resort, Krvavica, Croatia

The Children’s Health Resort was built for children with respiratory system illnesses with the belief that the coastal air would alleviate their symptoms. Due to the program of health facilities, a number of thresholds are found, connecting the lobby to disinfection areas, wards to the common balcony, wards to nurses’ rooms, etc. These thresholds bridge different public spaces in the resort to the exterior and separates inaccessible areas.

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Path

Path in front of Hydrometeorological Building, Skopje, Macedonia

Between Myth & Utopia

Path in City Mall, Skopje, Macedonia

A path is a space that loosely connects point A to point B. The passenger is in direct contact with the ambient. They receive and access information with ease and thus are to wander off to other spaces freely. In conventional perception, the path is simply a walkway, usually narrow and linear. This research expands the definition of the path, extending to free spaces within the city with public access.

The path is hence a functional, active social space that bridges different modules of a city. Under the Yugoslavian regime, paths connect not only residential areas and cultural spaces but also commercial zones as well. Kenzo Tange planned the city as an organism that constantly regenerates itself, and the paths serve as a tissue that knits the urban fabric together.

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Bridge

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1925

1929

1948

1965


Path

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Bridge

Railway Station, Skopje, Macedonia

Warrior on the Horse, Public Square, Skopje, Macedonia

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Path

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The path is a factor that connects each piece of architecture in city fabric of Skopje. Renowned Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, after winning the city planning competition in 1963, had formatted the city under the principles of metabolism. Since each building is covered in rough concrete and had weathered with rain, Tange created abstract shapes that simulate the natural process of metabolism--cells renewing. His design has represented the current atmosphere of Macedonia: the radical ideology that Yugoslavia advocated a complete denial of high modernism’s belief for the perfection of humanity and advanced technology, and this rejection has produced rough surfaces on the building, both exterior and interior.

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COLOR Representation | Imagination Jing Ying Chin & Eve M. Miserlian

New Zagreb (People behind the window) by Sanja

Electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths from approximately 380 to 770 nanometers enter the human eye as visible light. Different wavelengths along this spectrum appear as different colors, and all of the colors combined are seen as white light. Colors express emotions and symbolic qualities to people, and though many are common across the world, some hold more or less significance to different ideologies. Communism, for example, employs the color red. Although it is traditionally a color associated with revolution due to bloodshed; it also is symbolic of luck and happiness in China. Orange is significant to the Dutch representing national pride because William I of Orange led the revolt against the Spanish yielding Netherlands’ independence.

Blue, the color of the sea and sky, has positive meanings in cultures around the world. Blue is thus used by many political groups, such as the United Nations, to whom it represents peace and hope. Although not in every case, many countries depicted their significant colors in their flags. The former Yugoslavian flag utilized blue, white, and red stripes with a red and yellow star that was added later. By cataloguing the colors found in various examples of Balkan architecture, one can begin to understand how a building’s appearance represents the meaning it has to the people who use it. Furthermore, those colors can be used to diagram elements at the scale of both city and building to compare the ways color is applied to architecture.


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Color

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C :2 M :5 Y :11 K :0

C :4 M :31 Y :48 K :3

C :33 M :63 Y :46 K :7

C :88 M :75 Y :17 K :3

C :15 M :17 Y :18 K :0

C :4 M :7 Y :23 K :0

C :11 M :50 Y :65 K :0

C :36 M :77 Y :54 K :21

C :21 M :2 Y :72 K :0

C :13 M :12 Y :13 K :0

C :5 M :4 Y :36 K :1

C :15 M :46 Y :53 K :0

C :36 M :78 Y :52 K :20

C :20 M :7 Y :31 K :0

C :17 M :12 Y :11 K :0

C :5 M :12 Y :42 K :0

C :11 M :66 Y :69 K :1

C :35 M :90 Y :52 K :22

C :26 M :2 Y :37 K :0

C :26 M :20 Y :18 K :0

C :5 M :15 Y :48 K :0

C :15 M :21 Y :9 K :0

C :25 M :29 Y :0 K :0

C :41 M :6 Y :49 K :7

C :35 M :23 Y :17 K :0

C :0 M :12 Y :69 K :1

C :13 M :37 Y :17 K :0

C :68 M :63 Y :5 K :0

C :55 M :22 Y :46 K :1

C :26 M :42 Y :50 K :2

C :3 M :24 Y :86 K :0

C :24 M :49 Y :24 K :0

C :33 M :14 Y :0 K :0

C :69 M :50 Y :63 K :33

C :29 M :64 Y :76 K :15

C :6 M :26 Y :36 K :0

C :11 M :68 Y :36 K :2

C :49 M :14 Y :5 K :0

C :3 M :4 Y :2 K :0

C :39 M :58 Y :60 K :19


Index

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Color

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Palette

Window

Fireplace

Ceiling

Facade

Ramp

Slab

Balcony

Escalator

Toilet

Corridor

Elevator

Door

Wall

Core

Stair

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Floor

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City

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New Belgrade

The construction of the city of New Belgrade transformed not only Belgrade but also represented Tito’s desire for the growth of Yugoslavia. The employment of color on the facades of buildings and in public spaces adds life and character to each block as well as represents the different movements that affected Yugoslavian architecture and ideology. New Belgrade is organized into a series of blocks each includes large housing structures, shops, schools, and other necessary service facilities. The housing buildings make up the majority of the built environment and form the architectural aesthetic of the block. While a few blocks are built with the same plan, most differ from each other in architectural form and urban layout. These buildings drew much from the Russian avant-garde, particularly the constructivist movement. Constructivism

promoted functional design, working with prefabricated methods of construction, and modular coordination. All of these aspects follows true in New Belgrade’s buildings. Most of the materials are left visible, a common practice in modernist architecture and a tribute to the new city’s tighter budget. The color additions can be correlated with later movements of socialist architecture when people of socialist countries called for more color. The color additions are also a clear representation of surrealist color usage, a movement active in Yugoslavia from early to mid 20th century. Surrealist art used color in bold and expressive ways as seen in the way colors pop out of the monotone buildings (Levin). These colors add character and identity to the blocks of New Belgrade tying communities together.

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Color

Between Myth & Utopia

Grand Hotel Adriatic

The Balkan seaside, especially Croatia, was a huge tourist destination during Tito’s time and continues to comprise a large portion of their economy today. Yugoslavia invested a lot into tourism infrastructure, especially extensive resorts that dot along the Adriatic coast. These resorts define the architectural environment of the coast and positioned Yugoslavia as a unique place worth visiting for both foreign and domestic tourists. The use of colors in the resorts assists in creating cheerful environments where people want to spend their holidays. Seaside architecture, especially on the Yugoslavian coast, reflects various colors. Many of the older buildings along the shore and coastal islands are tan, reflecting the stone materials used and their wear over time. Most

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of these have blue or green shutters and accents, reflecting the sea and adding a little color to the otherwise earth-toned towns. Human-colored facades are usually found in newer buildings due to innovation in building materials and added paints. One of the more common color patterns found on the seaside is a primarily white building with blue added in smaller portions. White will reflect sunlight off the buildings in an effort to retain thermal comfort, and it is commonly recognized as a color of purity. Blue is the color of the sky and sea and reflects elements that are the primary draw for seaside tourists. The buildings that surround resorts still are more colorful with vibrant distinct colors differing from earth tones.


City

Between Myth & Utopia

7 Skopje Sever Cair, Skopje

After a 1963 earthquake devastated the city, Skopje was tasked with rebuilding much of its built environment. Only 1 in 40 housing units was still usable and 150,000 people were left homeless (Home). The masterplan to rebuild was developed and formally adopted in November 1965. Blocks were designed to house 6000 people calculated to best fit the size of primary schools. Foreign aid and prefabricated building techniques helped make the rebuilding process quicker. Because of the earthquake danger, many of these new buildings were slab-block type

rather than high-rise towers. Their rigid, consistent design allowed for differentiation between buildings and neighborhoods with additional elements like color. Similar to New Belgrade, some housing blocks retain a consistent facade color between buildings. A series of buildings surrounding a central courtyard might retain identical paint colors. Some use color to call out facade elements such as balconies and windows for a touch of color that was more concise.

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Color

Section & Elevation Study

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Facade

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The color of architecture has impacts far beyond its facade, as the people who use a building will often spend more time looking at the interior than the exterior. Color can be applied to any of the architectural elements through exposing material makeup, adding additional surface materials for visual or performative benefits, and painting over what is already there. Much of the New Belgrade and Skopje housing applied color to interior elements such as flooring, stairways, and

wall coverings. The chosen interior colors were often identical to colors found on the exterior facade. For example, buildings with a red facade might have stair railings of the same shade, and buildings with blue exterior elements might have blue floor tile in the community spaces. Diagramming these elements in elevation, section, and plan, allows for such indoor-outdoor connections to be made while maintaining component’s individuality.

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Color

New Belgrade, RS

Skopje, MK

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Building Plans

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Color

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Color Ground

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All Work No Labor Mitesh Dixit

“It is easier to imagine an end to the world than an end to Capitalism,” -Fredrick Jameson, “Future City”

Even the most modest survey of the current political discourse would quickly reveal that we as a society are lost. It seems we have exhausted our available resources and systems for civic discussions and have reduced all ‘discourse’ to slogans, insults, and hyperbole.

Between Myth & Utopia

Perhaps it is due to the fact that overwhelming majority of the world is ‘proletariat’, but no longer think or behaves as such. The lack of true alternatives or new frameworks to understand the current modes of production has led us to a society which cannot find a way forward. Both the left and the right are guilty of not providing a way forward: the former clings to the benefits of a neo-liberal life style, i.e. consumption without guilt, whereas the right has simply given up and to quote the 90’s rap metal band, Rage Against the Machine, have reduced their part line to: “fuck you I won’t do what you tell me”. How Ironic, it is now the far right that demands for new regimes and ideologies whilst the left clings to the very institutions which they waged war on in the late 1960’s.

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At this moment, perhaps the most profound action we could take is to simply stop. We must stop, the same way one would profess their own ignorance when debating Socrates, after he had exposed their argument false, which then led to the adversary to become paralyzed by their own confusion. However, this profession of ignorance, “I do not Know” was a necessary first step in a process to achieve the impossible…enlightenment. Collectively we are all confused, without the benefit of being brought to such a feeling of despair by Socrates. Even without the wise guidance of Socrates and his namesake method, we should all, at this moment, say out loud: I DO NOT KNOW. So where do we begin? Perhaps we start with the rise of the machine, technology and information. The process technology has created a new route out, which the remnants of the old left – and all other forces influenced by it – have either to embrace or die. Capitalism, it turns out, will not be abolished by forced-march techniques. It will be abolished by creating something more dynamic then


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that exists, at first, almost unseen within the old system, but which will break through, reshaping the economy around new values and behaviors. This is called post-capitalism.

Between Myth & Utopia

As with the end of feudalism 500 years ago, capitalism’s replacement by post-capitalism will be accelerated by external shocks and shaped by the emergence of a new kind of human being. And it has started. Postcapitalism is possible because of three major changes information technology has brought about in the past 25 years. First, it has reduced the need for work, blurred the edges between work and free time and loosened the relationship between work and wages. The coming wave of automation, currently stalled because our social infrastructure cannot bear the consequences, will hugely diminish the amount of work needed – not just to subsist but to provide a decent life for all. Second, information is corroding the market’s ability to form prices correctly. That is because markets are based on scarcity while information is abundant. The system’s defense mechanism is to form monopolies – the giant tech companies – on a scale not seen in the past 200 years, yet they cannot last. By building business models and share valuations

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based on the capture and privatization of all socially produced information, such firms are constructing a fragile corporate edifice at odds with the most basic need of humanity, which is to use ideas freely. Third, we’re seeing the spontaneous rise of collaborative production: goods, services and organizations are appearing that no longer respond to the dictates of the market and the managerial hierarchy. The biggest information product in the world – Wikipedia – is made by volunteers for free, abolishing the encyclopedia business and depriving the advertising industry of an estimated $3bn a year in revenue. How does this effect architecture and architects? How will our cities be affected? What tools will we need? How will new modes of production and labor effect not only what we make, but how we make…or even more radical how we actually manifest our very ideas? Hegel’s radical break from traditional philosophy began with his notion of Historical Materialism and its relation to freedom. Hegel argued that freedom is the thing that makes you a human being; without freedom, one cannot be a human. Since each generation will have their own struggles and wars to overcome that will liberate them from oppression, every generation will have to define freedom for themselves. This is


All Work / No Labor

important for architecture as well. Each generation of architects must define what is architecture for them; Our generation is in desperate need of definition, which addresses the true complexity of our times.

Between Myth & Utopia

Our current world is built on a foundation of profit and growth. Our urbanism—and the infrastructure and architecture with which it is constructed, including the tens of millions of homes spread thin across the landscape—is the result of a centuriesold economic system. And that system has consistently sought to segregate sites of labor and production from sites of dwelling.

willing partner of the good life? Can we let people get something for nothing and still treat them as our brothers and sisters – as members of a beloved community? Can you imagine the moment when you’ve just met an attractive stranger at a party, or you’re online looking for someone, anyone, but you don’t ask: ‘So, what do you do?’

So, the impending end of work raises the most fundamental questions about what it means to be human. To begin with, what purposes could we choose if the job – economic necessity – didn’t consume most of our waking hours and creative energies? What evident yet unknown possibilities would then appear? How would human nature itself change as the ancient, aristocratic privilege of leisure becomes the birthright of human beings as such? Sigmund Freud insisted that love and work were the essential ingredients of healthy human being. Of course, he was right. But can love survive the end of work as the

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EROSION Degrade| Decay | Rebirth Lindsey Brown & Junzhi Deng

Erosion is typically defined as the gradual destruction or subtraction of something over time. The gradual decay and disintegration of the urban fabric, both spatially and materially, of the original strictly planned socialist architecture of Tito reveals the evolution of the republic over time. In the post-war devastation, Tito used the destruction to meet the demands for housing for those whose homes were destroyed in the bombing and those migrating to major cities as an opportunity to rebuild society with the radical ideology of socialist principles and the seaside resorts to bolster the tourist industry. Through the mixing of “European modernism and the socialist principles of efficient construction and space usage to produce a model for housing, green space, and working environments for the masses,” Tito’s typology of socialist architecture and urban planning was formed5. The socialist state prioritized ideals of ‘the communal’ and equality through the mass produced. Erosion is a product

of inhabitation of existing structures, addition of highly traveled dirt paths from free use of public space, development of new temporary or permanent structures straying from the master plan, and expansion of the public space beyond the formal, intended usage and planning. The erosion of public spaces is therefore present not only through the deterioration of the material of the built environment but also through the creation of the ‘informal’. Due to the lack of state maintenance, general weathering due to climatic conditions, intentional damage, and chemical interactions, the material fabric of the built environment has deteriorated over time. The juxtaposition between the “formal” of the original masterplan and material quality and the creation of the “informal” being the condition developed through the process of erosion.


Erosion

Formal

Original Master Plan

Erosion of the Urban Tissue

Public Space

Informal

Occupants adapted environment through daily usage

Erosion of the Socialist Ideology

Erosion Formal

Original texture, color, and appearance Erosion of the Built Environment

Facade/ Surface

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Informal

Weathering + Graffiti disintegrated the material environment

Material

The erosion of the New Belgrade, the seaside resorts, and Skopje, mirrors the decay of Tito’s utopia represented through the precise planning process as a representation of the power of socialist government and ideology. The erosion of the ‘formal’ is expressed through the neglected public open space, overgrown vegitation, and material weathering of building materials overlaid by graffiti thus creating the ‘informal’ additions of the contemporary. The ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ city plan can be seen through the juxtaposition of the original ideological utopia and the reality of the present-day city. Such systematic and ideological planning is consistent throughout the masterplan; however, as time goes by, the original urban plan evolves with the changing needs of its residents, or lack thereof, creating additional spaces, programs, and pathways.

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Immaterial

Maric discusses the evolution of New Belgrade into a consumer city and the implications of such a drastic ideological transformation. Through this development, there are certain “basic concept(s) of design and planning of the city, which implies a harmonious and scientifically developed relationship between the developed and free spaces in the city is disturbed”4. However, when further examining the relationship between these spatial, economic, and social factors, one can see “by neglecting the real needs of the existing users and existing models of life in the city, the unsparing usurpation of every space in the city occurs”4. The changes in the overall formal masterplan and the critique of the surrounding urban environment from the public create the very informal elements that erode city.


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Erosion

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Case Studies

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Erosion

Huludovo Hotel

Public spaces were a fundamental aspect of socialist planning due to the importance of unity and the communal, which enforces this level of interaction. The formal plan of New Belgrade created strict relationships within the urban planning through the blocks and public spaces. The informal impositions during the construction, by inhabitants, by developers, and over time, have allowed for the evolution of these spaces to satisfy public demand. Through the addition of permanent and temporary structures, the fundamental fabric of vegetated public spaces have been continuously eroded over time. The abandoned, decapitated, and overgrown seaside complexes are also evidence of erosion due to neglect. Walking paths are crumbled or overgrown by vegetation while the complex itself has significant material damage ranging from the broken remnants of interior materials to substantial structural damage. Public spaces within the abandoned or strictly seasonal seaside complexes are vastly overgrown due to the strict seasonal nature of the visitors.

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Thesis

Between Myth & Utopia

Hotel Kupari

The erosion of the built material can be seen in various states of addition and subtraction. In New Belgrade, massive housing blocks lack the government infrastructure necessary for proper maintenance. Across the seaside, annual repairs are made to prepare for seasonal occupation. Various veneers are applied and wear away quickly after the season is over allowing for a brief appearance and rapid erosion. Some resorts have been eroded down to their concrete base with scattered remnants of doors, windows, frames, casework, and tiles. The erosion of the resort reveals both the misuse of public seaside resorts after the fall of socialist Yugoslavia and the privatization of the resort. Other parts of the seaside have been so overlaid with capitalist advertising and contemporary decoration that have in turn erode the original egalitarian nature of the resort. In Skopje, neo-Classical veneers are overlaid on top of former Yugoslavian style buildings intentionally concealing the old socialist architecture, and therefore, the erosion is through the addition of materials rather than the subtraction.

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Erosion

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Public Space

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“For all that comes to be deserves to perish wretchedly� -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Erosion

“Matter can neither be created nor destoryed only transformed� -First Law of Thermodynamics

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Facade

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Erosion

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Erosion

infrastructure for the tourist industry, both domestic and foreign1. The use of open space as programmed infrastructure highlighted the crucial aspect of these public spaces for the indoctrination of the socialist ideals. Through this erosion, these monuments to socialist architecture have taken on new significance. The erosion of the resorts reveals both the abandonment of some seaside resorts after the fall of socialist Yugoslavia and the privatization of other resort. The abandoned space is entirely accessible for the public and thus has become a sort of graffiti Mecca going beyond simple profanity or person signatures but allowing true artistic expression; meanwhile, privatized resorts are stripped of their egalitarian ideals in favor of whatever method yields highest profit.

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Between Myth & Utopia

The erosion of the facade varies greatly depending on the purpose and ideology of the building. The social housing blocks of New Belgrade have slowly deteriorated because the development lacks the centralized government required for public housing. Without a stable government or institution in place, there is no structure for the maintenance and upkeep on the building; however, an adjacent building, the Palata Srbija, is very well maintained devoid of graffiti or signs of weathering due to its political stature not only during Tito’s rule but also for the strength of the current government. The blocks of New Belgrade were the largest construction project undertaken by Yugoslavia3. New Belgrade was the best example of a “wouldbe fully functioning socialist utopia� since it was purpose-built for modern urban living with communal living spaces and completely uniform design control6. The seaside resorts were purpose built and calculated pieces of


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Between Myth & Utopia

The material manifestation of erosion of socialist ideology can be seen not only through the physical decay of a building but also through the additive process. The cycle of erosion has created a constant state of impermanence. The process of erosion is in itself a paradox of decay and creation. Through the destructive process, the erosion of the immaterial allows an opportunity for making. When a material is prevented from weathering and when public space is maintained for its strict usage despite the removal of its ideology, it becomes merely a facade or ghost of what it once was. In Skopje, the physical act of covering up or recladding with neo-Classical ornaments is also an erosion of the Yugoslavian style and socialist ideology. In terms of material erosion, both natural and artificial factors take a significant toll on the built environment; however, despite elements of physical maintenance, there is a much deeper erosion of the original socialist ideology. The spaces were all designed with ideas of socialist spatial planning, and the erosion of the socialist ideology can be seen through the disappearance of intended occupation and the results of capitalist occupation. Through the privatization process, all aspects of the design were either preserved, modified, or removed based upon its ability to be commodified by the private corporation. Although a complex may aesthetically look similar to its original design, it has been commodified for its commercial value. Due to privatization, the erosion is not through the destruction of the material or public space but rather a much deeper erosion of ideology. The success of the privatization is highlighted through the commodification of all aspects particularly the addition of elements like a mascot (the Valamar crab), widely advertised additional activities to be purchased, temporary structures for the convenient sale of tourist objects with a captive audience, and complete conversion of open public spaces into programmed spaces for highest capital return, completely erodes the socialist ideals of the accessibility of the seaside to all working classes.


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Erosion

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Between Myth & Utopia “It has become easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism� -Fredric Jameson

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Between Myth & Utopia

Erosion

Erosion is not a result but rather a process of destroying the old and opportunity for creating something new. The erosion of material is a physical manifestation of the change from its formal condition to its informal state. The decaying of the old socialist ideology allows for the birth of new ideology. Whether through environmental decay, human destruction, complete abandonment, capitalist commodification, or ideological cladding, the erosion of Yugoslavia symbolizes the end of the “third way�.

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MONUMENT Event | Ideology | Memory Daria Agapitova & Margaret M. Frank

Monument is an term used to define an infrastructure through which ideology can be distributed. Serving as an agent for commemorating people or events, creating a link between the past and the future, a monument is not static. Being both intentional and unintentional, a monument can be planned, either by their erection or their lack thereof. Thus, monuments involve statues, buildings, historical relics, nature, ceremonies, rituals and performance. A traditional understanding of monuments entails the commemoration of events or individuals in the construction of public artifacts. These artifacts are embedded in the fabric of a territory to solidify collective memory around an event or the event of a person. They engage the public domain to remember what once was and to reinforce what is. They solidify a

populace around an event; the event of their production, a ceremony, is in itself an infrastructure through which ideology can be momentarily reinforced. The idea that collective memory constructs monuments is the particular interest of this research - Socialism is preserved through the monument. The comparative index defines various elements in the built environment, as well as landscape, as monuments to Tito’s Yugoslavia The redefined perception of the monument includes ideological expression, reinforced by current social and political movements. Monumentality allows Yugoslavia to be studied as a culture of a once existing country. The monuments that were much more effective were those that were made unintentionally and those that had strong symbolism attached to them.


Between Myth & Utopia

Monument

Alexander the Great, Skopje

By standard definition, this statue of Alexander the Great is recognizable as monument. It was built during the Skopje 2014 reconstruction of the city to be a historical landmark, but it exists as paradox in that it imposes its relationship on its citizens. The values instilled after the earthquake of 1963 incorporated the Ottoman heritage alongside modernism. They were forcefully overridden by the initiative to assert a politically skewed false history of the city. Consequently, the monuments made during this time have had a negative impact on society for two reasons: the burden of cost taken from municipal funds and the obstruction of the urban common space. The exploitation of the monument leads to its demise.

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Citizens of Macedonia were unaware of the erection of the majority of these monuments; they were placed during odd hours of the night without explanation. It is evident that the political power to do so was based in private interest. It must be understood that monuments have a relationship to political power. They are put in a space for a particular reason, but this does not ensure that they will be considered a place. The obscenely immense statues and monuments of Skopje 2014 are a prime example of that. Since their creation, they have been defaced and criticized. The motives of a monument cannot be overlooked as a spectacle. They must convey and relate to viewers who use them to identify a place.


Definition

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Skopje Dormitory, Goce Delčev

Goce Delčev is Macedonia’s largest student dormitory. The building stands prominently within its block at least seven stories higher than those surrounding. Its distinction as a monument is more due to the importance placed on education during the socialist era. The level of detail in the façade and organization of the plan and overall buildings is an incredible feat unsurpassed by any contemporary dormitory in Macedonia. This research attempts to convey architecture’s ability to become a monument only if it is received as such. Since the fall of the socialism in the 1990s, the current government of Skopje no longer aligns itself with passed ideology. They have, however, not relinquished ownership

of buildings of socialist infrastructure constructed in Yugoslavia but rather have left them to decay. Interestingly, after decades of inoccupation, the dormitory has begun renovation. Certainly, this complex for housing and education has indeed had a social impact that could have only existed and evidenced by the people who interact with it. Architecture in Yugoslavia was built on the basis of monumental symbolism, construction capabilities, and characteristic brutalist style; however, this would not be witnessed today if it had the immense impact on the population for which it was built.

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Monument

Event

Ideology

Monument

Collective Memory

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Unintentional

“A building does not have to be an important work of architecture to become a first-rate landmark. Landmarks are not created by architects. They are fashioned by those who encounter them after they are built. The essential feature of a landmark is not its design, but the place its holds in a city’s memory. Compared to the place it occupies in social history, a landmark’s artistic qualities are incidental.” Herbert Muschamp, 2006 Monuments built during and after Yugoslavia are extremely valuable for how they narrate the nostalgic history of an often overlooked era. They speak through a selective, political lens about the emergence of socialism and the unity of a nation. Each point on this map shows the location of a monument defined by the time in which it was built and its relevance to constructing an understanding of how Yugoslavia did or did not function. Beginning in Belgrade, it was evident the scale of a monument is not limited to a statue, or even building. The mega housing blocks and the immense civic buildings indicate the realization of Tito’s ideology for Yugoslavia. Within the circumference of the city, monuments relay the message of socialist and modernist urban planning through the style and symbolism of each building.

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Intentional

The coast of Croatia and Montenegro is purposely scattered with seaside resorts. Despite the fall of the ideology that formed their purpose and creation, most are still in existence; however, some have been destroyed and abandoned while others have been renovated. They mark the underlying concept that the coast is protected and accessible for all people through their respect for shoreline using a calculated distance and the unwillingness to be bought and sold to investors whose sole desire is capital. Seaside resorts along the coast of Croatia, occupied or abandoned, are relics of the ideology from which they were created; therefore, everyone in Yugoslavia’s brotherhood should be able to take holiday and have access to the sea. Today, the seaside resorts exist as monuments as they commemorate the ability of workers to travel for pleasure. Tourism was enabled by the architecture developed from socialist ideals. Additionally, their proximity to the sea and significantly large scale are monumental in understanding how fundamental these resorts were to preserving and signifying the coastline. The cultural and economic benefits for the locals and visitors were possible only through sufficient planning regulations imposed by Tito.


Territory

Monument Locations

In Skopje, monuments are a controversial topic between those built during Yugoslavia and those part of Skopje 2014. The intent, quality, and significance between the times at which the monuments are built can be directly linked to how they are interpreted by society. It is evident that the government has the money, time, and resources to maintain the monuments, and chooses where to spend it. While the Yugoslavian architecture is in disrepair, more than a hundred massive statues and monuments were assembled. The monuments that were intentional aimed at attracting tourists and creating spaces for the residents; although, the numbers have not

Between Myth & Utopia

Architecture became responsible for the developing the new typology of tourist resorts. The resorts were envisioned to “ultimately enrich and ennoble the space and the integral life of the community,�(Zinganel). Experimenting with building affordable precast construction and specified metrics of space per occupants, architects successfully incorporated local Mediterranean building tradition, density, and porosity through embedding the structure into the topography. As a result, both the resorts and the coast have become a monument to the most important and envied resource of the Balkan region.

confirmed that this approach was effective. In this case, the monument needs to reconsider how it should act as a genuine symbol that has purpose and an ideology to reinforce it. The process greatly informed the way in which monuments were chosen, studied, and defined. The first step was to outline what was already understood about monuments in Yugoslavia (diagram top left page). This was later revised to incorporate a new comprehension of monuments as the result of something either intentional or unintentional and the driving factors for each. Through the cataloging process so as not to create a conclusion but rather an index for each city from which one could begin to extract knowledge, each monument’s elevation was traced and scaled in ascending order. The title and date upon which it was built was noted beneath each icon to add a layer of context. Between finishing the seaside resorts and beginning Skopje, the information became too categorized. It became evident that the scale, date, and location, needed to be delaminated from the icons in order to show a more concise representation of how monument is being defined.

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Monument

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Monument

Victims of the Sajmište Concentration Camp

Before World War II, the land between Belgrade and Zemun remained relatively empty. In December 1941, Serbian Jews were incarcerated in unheated buildings that were additionally devastated by air raids. Even with support from civic initiative immediately following the war, efforts made to commemorate the site were often dismissed. It was not until 1995, a sculptor Miodrag Popović created a monument located several meters north from the location of the concentration camp. This new place is a tribute to the victims “in the context of the confusion of World War II narratives between socialist Yugoslavia and an emerging Serbian nationalism.” Despite granting Sajmište a cultural heritage landmark in 1987 and two modest, memorial plaques in Zemun, there was a lack of recognition of the history and memory, for Yugoslavia as well as the Holocaust in Serbia, before the monument was erected.

Between Myth & Utopia

Much controversy exists around the informal monument composed of The Federal Ministry of Defense Building during the formation of socialist Yugoslavia. It was one of two military buildings, together called The Army Headquarters, designed by Serbian architect Nikola Dobrović. In 1999, both buildings were bombed by NATO; the symbolism of the strength of Yugoslavia’s political system was attacked and destroyed. The buildings remain in their ruined state to date untouched and uncertain of their fate. Architect Bojan Kovačević researched the significance of these cultural buildings just before the bombings in the 1990s referring to them as the Serbian word spomenik, meaning monument. Its status remains contested; today it is recognized by its current state of ruin as public or collective memory almost 40 years after its destruction. The Federal Ministry of Defence

Novi Belgrade was planned to embody Tito’s socialist ideology through modernist architectural and urban development. Due to the large-scale of the housing megablocks, they were remarkable in exhibiting the capabilities of precast construction. “Urban solution was a decisive factor in the setting of architectural concepts of the objects, in which was emphasized the effect of the whole building as an element of great urban composition, with the expression of individual units reduced to minimum” (Simonovic 160). In addition to the built environment, the surrounding landscape in each block remained empty fields. Without an economic or specific function, these spacious greenspaces created a social structure in which inhabitants could interpret as extension of their living spaces. Novi Belgrade - Block 61

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New Belgrade

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Cultural, 1947-1980 Political, 1947-1980 Warrior, 1947-1980 Cultural, 1980-present Political, 1947-present Warrior, 1947-present

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Monument

Hotel Ambassador/Occupied

Hotel Ambassador, built in 1966, was one of the hotels that was designed to be ‘pure’ in volume in contrast the many resorts embedded into the landscape. Located next to the historical city core of Opatija, Hotel Ambassador became popular among tourists for its collection of Croatian modernist artists. This was an important strategy to promote artists and culture stemming from Yugoslavia as well as demonstrate to its visitors, both foreign and domestic, the initiatives and objectives of socialism. After surviving the destruction caused by Croatia’s independence war from Yugoslavia in 1991, it remained empty and was later renovated in spite of the costly repairs. It is a monument due to the willingness of support by the Croatian government to ensure it was not demolished.

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Hotel Haludovo/Abandoned

During the Tito rule, Yugoslavia was using a coastline to increase both domestic and international tourism. This was done not only to provide people with an opportunity to travel but to increase people awareness of the national ideology. In order to attract foreigners and bring money into the country, luxurious resorts have been built. Hotel Haludovo was a five-star complex built in Malinska-Dubašnica. Being the only place in the country for gambling, it appeared to be the monument to consumerism represented through the lens of socialist architecture. However, despite successful functioning during the decade, the hotel was abandoned after the Yugoslavia dissolved in 1989 due to the lack of demand and the government’s inability to sustain the complex.


Adriatic Coast

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Cultural, 1947-1980 Political, 1947-1980 Warrior, 1947-1980 Cultural, 1980-present Political, 1947-present Warrior, 1947-present

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Skopje

The variety of images on the spread catalogues the two types of monuments in complete juxtaposition around the city of Skopje. Images in color show buildings that were constructed as part of Tange’s masterplan produced under the ideology of socialism. The combination of Japanese metabolism and 1960s modernism embodied in the masterplan rebuilds the devastated urban fabric and gives hope for the better and a less traumatic future. The buildings of Tange’s masterplan are sculptural, heavy, and pure. Each has their own place, and each responds to a specific aspect of solidarity and accessibility, i.e. education, healthcare, entertainment, transportation, and others. They were built to be a legacy, and even through neglect and/or

abandonment, they have escaped being destroyed entirely. During Skopje 2014, the need, fabricated by the government, to reimagine the city’s history gave reason to erect over 100 sculptures, 34 of which are considered ‘monuments’ according to the city planning. The panorama clearly shows the density monuments in one place: 11 pieces, including statues, fountains, and rotundas. Because they were built to attract tourists and thus revenue, numerous monuments erected in the main plaza represent nothing but the false value system corresponding neither with the history of the country nor collective memory of its citizens. Regardless of this distinction, each intervention in the urban landscape was in opposition to the interests of the people for which it was created.

Indeed, the project of Skopje 2014 has faced wide criticism and caused people to question the political, cultural, and economic priorities of government. Why spend resources on monumentality rather than improving the standard of living for citizens? Monuments were purely an artificial way to fill public space without any regard to their impact. Looking at the image as a whole, the oversaturation of monuments injected into the urban plaza causes the monuments themselves to have no intrinsic value.

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Macedonia Square, Skopje


Monument The Faculty of Medicine was established by the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia’s Committee for the protection of public health needs. It was the only facility between Zagreb, Belgrade, and Ljublijana, that could sufficiently service the number of medical staff needed for the care and research. Due to its relationship as a university institution, the expansion of the buildings on this campus has grown to accommodate staff, students, and patients. The new administrative building, built in 2007, is a monument to the access to public healthcare initiated during Yugoslavia. The architectural language of the building more resembles that of buildings designed as part of Tange’s Masterplan rather than buildings constructed as part of Skopje 2014 fostering a stronger connection to the context behind its construction. Faculty of Medicine/1947

Between Myth & Utopia

The only building that Tange designed and built for the Skopje Masterplan was the Railway Station. Elevated fifteen meters above the ground, the Railway Station was meant to be the transitional space from regional (trains) to local (bus, car, pedestrian) traffic along the main axis of the city. It was built over scaled for the population of the time on the basis of estimated population growth. Since it never achieved close to the projected number, the massive transportation hub remains neglected and in disrepair. Authorities have mostly abandoned the station making only minimal improvements annually. The Railway State is a distinct structure because it has withstood the city’s strategy to rid modern-style buildings from Tange’s Masterplan; however, in its place, politicians and city planners decided to ‘refashion’ the city through NeoClassical veneers. Railway Station/1968

As part of the Skopje 2014 plan, many pedestrian bridges were made across the Vardar River similarly adorned with an excessive number of statues along each side. The Art Bridge in particular was dedicated to 29 artists and composers. The bridge was designed to be a traditional monument with bronze statues situated on top of a marble base. However, the reception of the bridge was not held in high regards by the public based on two factors: cost and value. Like that of other structures built during Skopje 2014, the Art Bridge was extremely costly to build using tax revenue and mostly intended for tourist use. In addition, the sculptures were criticized for their lack of quality. The monuments that were intended to be built for people were instead rejected as can be seen by the vandalism and criticism made by the users. Art Bridge/2014

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Skopje

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Cultural, 1947-1980 Political, 1947-1980 Warrior, 1947-1980 Cultural, 1980-present Political, 1947-present Warrior, 1947-present

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Monument Index

2011 2014 1964 1970 1972 1941 1972 1966 1970s 1970 1972 2011 1972 1963 1972 1991 1994 1979 2004 1970 2006 1959 1994 1965 1970 1994 1969 1979 2013 1948 1977 1999

Skopje, Macedonia Skopje, Macedonia Krvavica, Croatia Poreč, Croatia Skopje, Macedonia Malinska, Croatia Belgrade, Serbia Opatija, Croatia Malinska, Croatia Zatibor, Montenegro Poreč, Croatia Rovinj, Croatia Rovinj, Croatia Primošten, Croatia Kupari, Croatia Skopje, Macedonia Belgrade, Serbia Belgrade, Serbia Belgrade, Serbia Belgrade, Serbia Belgrade, Serbia Skopje, Macedonia Belgrade, Serbia Belgrade, Serbia Belgrade, Serbia Belgrade, Serbia Skopje, Macedonia Skopje, Macedonia Poreč, Croatia Belgrade, Serbia Belgrade, Serbia Skopje, Macedonia Skopje, Macedonia Skopje, Macedonia Belgrade, Serbia Belgrade, Serbia Belgrade, Serbia Belgrade, Serbia

Ideology expression Ideology expression Ideology expression Ideology expression Ideology expression Ideology expression Monument to WWII Ideology expression Ideology expression Ideology expression Ideology expression Ideology expression Ideology expression Ideology expression Ideology expression Ideology expression Monumnets to poets Monument to scientists Monument for the ruler monument for the ruler NATO bombing in 1999 Ideology expression Ideology expression Monument to scientists Political, governemnt Monument for the ruler Monument to Freedom Ideology expression Ideology expression Monument to WWII Monument to WWII Ideology expression Ideology expression Ideology expression SFR Yugoslavia NATO bombing in 2000 Ideology expression NATO bombing in 1999

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Alexander the Great Statue Art Bridge Children’s Hospital in Krvavica Diamant Hotel Faculty of Medicine Haludovo resort in Malinska Hanged Patriots monument of 1941 Hotel Adriatic II Hotel Ambasador Hotel Biserna Obala Hotel Crystal Hotel Eden Hotel Lone Hotel Marina Lučica Hotel Pelegrin Hydrometeorological Service Building Ivo Andric monument Jovan Cvijić monument Karadjordje Monument Milosh Obrenovich monument Ministry of defence MoCa Skopje - Museum of Contemporary Art New Belgrade Nikola Tesla monument Palace of Serbia Petar 2 Petrovic Monument Power, Glory and Victory Railway Station Rubin Sunny Hotel Spomenik Pilotima of 1941 Staro Sajmiste Student dormitory ‘Goce Delchev’ The Macedonian National Opera and Ballet Tito Statue Tomb of People’s Heroes We were just children Western City Gate Genex Tower Why?

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The Need for Desir e

The Transfor mation of a Socialist Utopia into a Capitalist Myth

Lawrence M. Boyer

“We must make our freedom by cutting holes in the fabric of this reality, by forging new realities which will, in turn, fashion us...” Crimethinc Collective

Between Myth & Utopia

We live in a world surrounded by distractions and things begging for our attention. In a post-modern and post-utopian world, we are obsessed with our self-image, our entertainment, and ourselves. We live our lives simply to indulge ourselves in every way possible. We work most of our lives inputting labor into a machine that gives us only currency in return, which we feed back into it to grow stronger - we call this process capitalism, and it has taken hold of the world and our lives and has become the lens we view the world through. With the Museum of Modern Art’s Exhibition, Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, the socialist housing projects, infrastructure, and resorts across Yugoslavia have taken the interest of Western European and American minds. In the process, its ideas and the ideology behind them have been objectified, tamed, commodified, and made suitable for consumption. Even in visiting these sites today, decades after the fall of the Yugoslavian Republic, the narratives we form come from a contemporary, western mindset, outside of the history the region was developed in, and thus imposes false readings upon what we see. This was inevitable - but perhaps our awareness of it can help us understand what we see more holistically. Karl Marx describes the relationship between a capitalist and a laborer as one in which the capitalist owns the means of labor and a laborer

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owns his own labor power which he sells to capitalists via the labor market. In a similar sense, the same is true with consumption: consumers have the power of their own capital and where they chose to spend it; firms desperately vie for the attention of consumers with the hopes that they will choose to give them their money and increase their profits, which they will in turn give to another firm. Consumption is at the forefront of a capitalist economy because it is consumption that is needed for the generation of labor. In particular, luxury consumption has become a form of the productive destruction of capital which seeks to correct capital accumulation and which profoundly shapes the current economic system. Luxury also enables escapism: a means for distracting oneself from the unpleasant reality that we live in. Our desires can be only temporarily satiated, never permanently appeased. In fact, they are intensified when they are fulfilled. This fact gives rise to the need for luxury consumption and extravagance, constantly attempting to outdo oneself. Once the economy moves past fulfilling only our basic needs, our desires then become ‘needs.’ At this point, the economy will no longer serve the reproduction and continuation of life, but instead, its intensification. In the interest of the intensification of our lives, we seek out increasingly more exciting, dramatic, and impressive experiences, and attempt to


make our every experience seem the height of excitement to ourselves and others.

Between Myth & Utopia

We live in a period of advanced capitalism - life is completely pervaded by capital. Activities associated with the sustaining of life (cooking, raising children, etc.) have become economic activities, saturating the private sphere economically. Rather than sustain ourselves independently, we sustain ourselves on capital transactions with others - fast food, professional daycares, etc, meaning that this sphere of life has no further opportunity for economic growth. We must look to the ways people wish to enhance their lives (and thus, the desires of consumers and what they will buy into) to create further opportunities for economic growth. This implies that consumers first want to fulfill their desires, which quickly makes advertising and narrative telling a critical part of profitability. But once consumers are convinced to indulge themselves, they have the opportunity for nearly unlimited growth as their desires continue to grow as they are met. The main part of industrial production is now geared towards our desires and not basic needs. Thus, our environment today is not an array of things for people to use, but a scenery of appearances, images, and narratives we are told and that we tell about the way we want to be seen and the way we want to see things. We tell ourselves narratives and listen to the narratives of others, whether or not we believe them, because we want to believe them in order to justify our desires. The commodification of art produced for the mass industry has created false needs

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The Need for Desire

Our increasing inability to distinguish reality from not reality (a simulation of it or something claiming to be a reality) has been exacerbated by the digital age and our visual culture. This has led to us feeding into our own hedonistic hyper realities in which real and fictional are seamlessly blended. As visitors to seaside resorts along the Croatian Coast, we looked in awe at the ruins we walked through. Most of the resorts had fallen into a state of disrepair after the fall of the republic. Yet, some had become privatized and were still operational. As we explored these hotels that were still bustling with visitors, maids, and other staff,

we found ourselves relatively underwhelmed in comparison to the abandoned resorts from the same era, and the same architects that were sometimes just on the other side of the street. Why was this? Because it was no longer exotic, no longer as seductive, and we were unable to create an image of what it would have been like in the past that was beyond reality. It became familiar and ordinary. It was no longer instagrammable. We no longer wanted to believe the story being told to us - the story we had written was false. Utopia had become myth. The advent of computers, or as digital media theorist Lev Manovich calls them, “digital illusion generators,” has enabled the media industries to expand as the demand for editing and processing of information increased. But just because the artifice of architecture and creating hyperrealities now takes place in the digital realm does not reduce its impact on our physical world. In fact, it allows it to become even greater, creating even more narratives to be sold, surrounding ourselves with architectures of seduction more and more rapidly. It is no longer sufficient to describe our world simply with words - we must use images and data. In visual culture, we have an inclination to make everything we see look as good as possible to convey value, importance, and desirability to others, even if this means a beyond realistic image. Do we share on social media accurate depictions of what we see as we travel? No - we post the edited, transformed, and otherwise distorted images and representations of reality that generate a hyperreal image of what we are doing. The

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and beliefs. There is now a new capitalist ‘buyer’s aesthetic’ that is concerned with the sensual perception of reality. It makes things pretty. It makes things desirable. It makes you need things you never knew you needed. It links the corporeal and sensorial to create atmospheres: affective powers of feeling, spatial bearers of moods, created by a range of elements. Architectures of seduction provide an atmospheric scenery for consumption experiences whereby consumption has become a fundamentally, but still manipulative and exploitative act of the intensification and heightening of life. Not all of these spaces, however, were designed in such a way to become seductive in the way that they are - part of this comes from our own mindset. We are the ones who imbue this power of seduction onto the things we see around us through fetishizing the different, the new, the old, the familiar, etc. Aesthetics are thus a real social power via aesthetic pleasure and aesthetic manipulation.

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most important is their direct similarity to the realities we already know, making it difficult to recognize them as distinctly different. This allows for the subtler changes that make these new realities different, but similar enough to remain unseen while further altering our perception and understanding of what the world around us ‘should be.’ As Jean Baudrillard describes the stages of simulation, we first see narratives and representations of reality that we believe may even be correct, and are faithful images of reality. We create plans, diagrams, and drawings to present arguments and exhibitions. Things we see look familiar and realistic even if they are not real denotations of reality. It is a good, charming image that we enjoy and trust the intentions of. But as the capacity of false realities to fool us and interest us develops, and our willingness to believe the images we are fed increases, the false narratives mask the lack of the real ones and eventually become hyperreal, making little to no reference to an original, real image of reality. We tell stories, not only to others, but to ourselves about the magnificence of what we see. Not only are we fooled, but we want to be fooled and become so wrapped up in lies that they become the only things we pay attention to and become our reality. What exactly is it we are doing? And is it what we want to be doing? Are we simply following along to stay successful, profitable, and to not ‘rock the boat?’ The lies surrounding us are propagated across every industry and across all media. The desire for improvement, success, and popularity is a human trait which we project onto all of our work, but

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it is leading to problematic consequences. The food industry markets unrealistic images of food leading to unhealthy consumption behavior. The film industry vies for the attention of the ordinary consumer through increasingly dramatic and exhibitionist displays that numb us from reality. The porn industry invades our most intimate and private desires, creating an increasingly disposable and consumerist event that becomes popularity-based and data-driven.

and accept the boredom of reality. Perhaps our happiness and self-fulfillment are not generated by what big companies tell us they are. Perhaps we just need to listen to ourselves more and open our eyes to what false narratives we are being told by the world and see just how sinister they can be.

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We no longer even live hedonistically. Sure, we seek pleasure and the most interesting way to spend our resources, but we do not do so unaware. Most of these false narratives we tell others and consume from others we are completely aware of. They are obvious. But we participate in creating them to construct a completely false life around us to portray to others. We do this through gossip, social media, social status and popularity. What images do we see every day and not stop to question the reality of ? What atmospheres are we being seduced by? What is enabling our spending habits? Are we blindly following the claims of advertisers, graphic designers, architects, and digital editing towards an image of ourselves and our reality that will eventually lead to our disappointment with it, further fueling our existential search for satisfaction and happiness? Or have we moved past the point that consuming them brings satisfaction and happiness? We must start to question the images and information being fed to us and start to compare them to the realities we see and experience. We must begin to critique our own desire to commodify our experiences

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SLAB

Catalog | Ideology | Evolution | Typology Lawrence Boyer & Ava Helm

“We, however, are working so that all those who labor can enjoy the fruits of their labor and that is the material essence of our democracy” - Josip Broz Tito Yugoslavia was a utopia. Josip Tito’s ambition to create an ideal cultural standard included providing access to education, healthcare, and vacation time along the coast at a number of state-owned seaside resorts. In its peak, Yugoslavia became exactly this: thriving coasts, the highest literacy rate in the world, and one of the strongest passports as well. These immaterial, ideological standards became the brand identity and success behind Yugoslavia. Architecture became the material manifestation of that immaterial desire for an ideal standard. This standard was applied on every scale from landscape and site to minute

details, finishing, and architectural elements such as the innovative uses of slabs. A slab is a fundamental element of architecture. It implies a level of monumentality, rigidness, and durability to withstand structural loads. The understanding and use of slabs evolved with time as ideologies and economic systems shifted with the technologies we use in construction. A slab’s structural soundness relates metaphorically for the stability of the earth beneath us: the first ‘slab.’ As humankind territorialized nature and began to enclose space, roofs, walls, and floors


Slab

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and use of materials changed. This need, met with different political ideologies yielded vastly different architectural results, especially as Modernism developed after World War two in the climate of the Cold War. Architecture is never simply that - it structures the way individuals interact in their lives and inherently has ideology.

became a method for humans to impose artifice on nature to form it into something more desirable to them: Architecture. The normative definition of a slab is any large, thick, flat piece of horizontally oriented structural element, composed of a single material which is layered vertically and is typically monumental in scale. The floor slab as historically used, stacked vertically like pancakes, is an example - their edges define the exterior form of the building. As material needs changed, especially after the first World War, the need for new building technologies 102

Successive changes of the social context in each of these countries were reflected through changes in the objectives of Modernism and the ways in which it made its appearance. Concrete was affordable and efficient, so it became an increasingly prevalent building material. Concrete floor slabs proliferated into concrete walls, railings, balconies, and more. The use of material became brutal, but effective. Raw concrete was used in facades and structure as the basic material, but interiors remained dominated by wood and brick, remaining somewhat familiar to its inhabitants. Early modernism in Serbia echoed the form of international modernism with orthogonal forms executed in raw concrete and scarcely finished. As it matured, structures became more formally monumental, asymmetrical, and sculptural. In its late phase, concrete, brick, and stone were used in combination to achieve attractive facade plasticity, while exhibiting even more expressionist and sculptural forms. This evolution came with the


IMS

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changing use of the slab in less normative ways, contributing towards the Yugoslavian architectural style and defining it as unique from both the Western and Eastern blocs and their respective modern styles. Yugoslavian architects transformed slabs from flat surfaces one walks on, to a universal spacedefining architectural element - it no longer was an element, but was the skeletal element that composed housing. Exteriors changed from being fraught with window trim, siding, and other decorative finishes, to becoming a statement of ideology, simplicity, and idealism. Modernism heralded in the end of pitched roofs and brought about an era of roof slabs while slabs as walls defined the extents of space. The expression of slabs on the facade of the building evolved with the changing political and social environment as well, bringing about Brutalism as the outward style. The need for a facade dressed with ornamentation shifted into a visual expression of the structural elements. The primary tectonic used in housing and resorts is established to create an array of small spaces for living. This programmatic need enabled the construction of these buildings to follow a modular, prefabricated system, which was already existing prior to the housing need. The Serbian Institute of Testing of Materials’ IMS System was an innovation in 103


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response to the need for mass housing construction. This system uses a structural skeleton based on prefabricated, prestressed modular elements with spans 3.6m and 4.8m. These structural modules, while restricting the overall placement of form, provides openness and flexibility in the design of both functional interior and the facade. Buildings became not one envelope surrounding a set of walls and slabs, but slabs which come together in a unified system which create a modular, open building. In socialist Yugoslavia, modernity sought to build a Utopian vision of an egalitarian society based on the ideas of a free working class, unalienated work, and the withering of the state. Its financial and intellectual resources, both domestic and international due to Tito’s ability to garner international attention, allowed Yugoslavia to become an example for other socialist countries. Through the new architecture and its social mission to provide housing, Yugoslavian architects

slab (slæb)

noun

A thick, flat slice or piece of something Oxford English Dictionary

A large, thick, flat piece of stone or concrete, typically square or rectangular in shape Google

A large, thick slice or piece of cake, bread, chocolate, etc. Google

An outer piece of timber sawn from a log

simultaneously contributed towards the making of a new Yugoslavia, the addressing of social issues, and the creation of its ideological brand and identity as an unaligned state. Linguistics tells us that the meaning of a word varies with one’s understanding of it, and the word itself is simply a linguistic symbol for what the word

Quora

A structural element, usually made up of reinforced concrete Quora

A common structural element of modern buildings, consisting of a flat, horizontal surface made of cast concrete Wikipedia

A thick plate or slice (as of stone, wood, or bread) Merriam-Webster

Google

A tough and durable sedimentary rock compacted in the form of a thick sheet generally used as table tops or kitchen tops 401

The pitcher’s rubber (in baseball) Your Dictionary

Australian slang for a carton of 24 Beers Urban Dictionary


Definition

Lone Hotel, Rovinj, Croatia

Normative A large, thick, flat horizontally-oriented structural element composed of a single material which is layered vertically and is typically monumental in scale

inclusive definitions of what a slab could be: the seminormative pushes the use of the normative, perhaps with the integration of new building technologies. It still seems familiar, but not as simple in form. Finally, the un-normative, encompasses things which either through material use, form, or other circumstances, still seem to be slabs, but are far from the original notion of what a slab is. They are perhaps not simply an architectural element but demonstrate the capacity for a simple and monolithic form to hold other spatial effects; sculptural qualities, lightness, otherworldliness, etc. These definitions structure this chapter through a documentation of each type with a dedicated case study for each typology.

Semi-Normative A large, flat piece of material which is directionally layered and is typically monumental in scale Un-Normative Any seemingly continuous surface where its length and width are greater than its thickness 105

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actually means. As with any word, slab, especially in architecture can be used in a variety of scenarios. From its most basic use to its most creative and contemporary ones, the definition of slab and how it has been used has evolved with time. Through the synthesis of several definitions, both official and not at left, a normative definition of slabs was created. From here, observations led to further, more


Wooden Joist framing, subfloor structure Concrete, steel framing, etc. Thinner structural slabs Tile/Masonry Slab + Structure: Slab as an assemblage of parts New industrial Materials: Steel, Glass, etc. Reinforced Stonework

Art Nouveau

Art Deco

Beaux-Arts

High-End Materials: Plastics, Ferro-Concrete, etc Steel Cables, Concrete Beams, Exposed Structure and Joints, Balconies

Constructivism

Arts & Crafts International Modernist Style Steel Frame, separation of structure and form: Free plan/facade

Mass Production + Industrialization

Early Modern

Modernism

Steel, Glass, Reinforced Concrete. Structural Module

Bauhaus Neoclassical

1933

Nazis Rise to Power World War II

World War I Defeat of Ottoman Empire in the first Balkan War

1914 1918

1912

1939 1945

Development of reinforced structural concrete

Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes Kingdom of Yugoslavia

Provisional State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs

1900

1918

1930 Double Tract / H Block Housing

Post-War Housing Crisis

1945


Adriatic Coast Development Economic Planning + Urban Planning: Creating Utopia Slab as architectural element; both structural and interactive through other uses Monolithic slabs; increasingly un-normative formal use; structural expressionism

Return to regional materials, facade cladding, material expressionism.

Modularity, central core with prefabricated, replacable cells that are attached.

Metabolism

Structural Expressionism

Visual emphasis on steel/concrete structural skeleton; exposed structure; structure dictates form

Brutalism

Poured Concrete

New building materials, exterior material and structural systems, prefabrication

Postmodernism

Googie

1991 1980 1981

1963

Josip Tito named President for life 1969

1947 1991

Death of Authoritarian Leader, Josip Tito 1980

Slovenia, Croatia, & Macedonia declare independence.

Third Industrial Revolution: The rise of nuclear energy

New Housing Reform, privitizing

Bosnia & Herzegovina Declare Independence; Serbia & Montenegro form Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

NATO Launches Airstrikes in Serbia Following Failed Peace Talks

1999

Cold War

Break up of Yugoslavia into independent states

Federal Peoples Republic of Yugoslavia Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

1963

1989

2000


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Normative

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Normative A large, thick, flat horizontally-oriented structural element composed of a single material which is layered vertically and is typically monumental in scale

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Slab

The normative slab is horizontal and vertically layered, acting as floor, roof, and ceiling. Spatially, it defines occupiable areas by codifiying areas for walking and areas that are covered. Its use of the slab as an element is simple and does not necessarily change our understanding of how the element can be used. It remains monolithic in scale, and in the instance of the Pelegrin Hotel in Kupari, Croatia, it defines the exterior form of the building as well as a central courtyard through the edges of the slab. By the recessing of envelope into the building, the slabs appear to float, detached from each other and free of any heavy verticals which would appear to hold the structure up. Though structurally, it is not made of a single material, its tiled finishing is an effort to make its appearance as such. This homogenous appearance contributes towards the monumentality of each slab, and the hotel in its entirety. Further underscoring the monumentality of the slabs are their thickness and the size of the building despite its simple geometry. The perceived thickness of the slab is the same as the occupiable interstitial space, diminishing the scale of the human as they move through and occupy the building. These thicknesses also establish a rhythm of slab and void which allows the form to be read as a single, monumental mass. 110

The real thickness of these slabs however, are not as thick as perceived from outside: the upper edge of the spandrels are higher than the floor slab inside: it is also a rail for the balconies that wrap around the building. The underlying factor contributing towards the simplicity of the hotel and its monumentality is its geometry. Because of hidden details such as the aforementioned spandrel which mimics the thickness of the voids, the building becomes a diagram of itself. In plan, it is a rectangular central courtyard which is offset, giving symmetry to


Normative: Pelegrin Hotel, Kupari, Croatia

the geometry. The entrance is a simple overhang which follows the language of the slabs and geometry while giving preference to that facade for entry.

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Structurally, the building uses a variety of columns and structural walls - the thick outer slabs used only for outer geometry and perceived monumentality. In a sense then, the slab we see is not the true slab - it is a false narrative which aims to create a certain reading of the building. The facade and interior courtyard each show the thickness of the slab and reveal it, but the

slab ideologically becomes the outer face of the building only because of the difference between how the slab is shown on each surface. This turns the slab into an ideological selling point for the building rather than simply a structural element because of the false appearance it gives.

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Slab

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Semi-Normative

Semi-Normative A large, flat piece of material which is directionally layered and is typically monumental in scale

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Slab The Semi-Normative use of slabs involves the elimination of the requirement that slabs must be oriented horizontally. Slabs in this instance serve both as floor slabs but also vertically as partitions between units, and as structural walls which are expressed in the facade by bringing them past the envelope of the building. These vertical parti walls fall along a continuous 3.8 meter structural module which give the facade its rhythm while also enabling the building to be highly efficient in its construction.

Between Myth & Utopia

These parti slabs are still layered to create a system, though the system functions inherently differently from normative slab buildings, holding the structural loads of the building rather than columns. Additionally, the offsetting of enclosure from the outer edges of the floor slab creates a visual recess in the facade away from the floor slab, expressing this element while also creating an additional exterior space: a balcony. Through the use of partitioning slabs, a slab serves as the sole element which bounds interior space and separates people. Yet simultaneously, this element is shared between the adjacent spaces which it defines. It is shared between the two spaces and is yet necessary for distinguishing them apart. Each face of the slab wall has a different character which would be imposed on it by the inhabitants from each of the adjacent units which share it.

Floor Slabs

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The monumentality and scale of the concrete elements furthers the Brutalist and Modernist style while also contributing towards the overall style of New Belgrade to create a vision of a national style. Textural details such as the wood formwork can be seen at the detail level but from afar, the walls seem monolithic. While housing projects such as these are often misnamed communist housing, the ideological brand of Yugoslavia during the time of their construction

Vertical Partition/Structural slabs


Semi-Normative: Block 22, New Belgrade, Serbia

conditions that created new Belgrade as well as Tito’s new ideology. These housing units remain in use today: a show of the quality of construction and the material results of the ideology which created them.

The IMS skeletal structural system allows for open programming of spaces, varied interiors, and efficiency of construction. While uniform in appearance, it enables the freedom that lies within. This system and its increased efficiency helped construct the material

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was nonaligned, and socialist. The government under Tito established housing such as these buildings to rent to people and create a unified state.


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Un-Normative

Any seemingly continuous surface where its length and width are greater than its thickness

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Un-Normative


Slab

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The un-normative encompasses things which, through material use, form, or other circumstances, still seem to be slabs but are far from the original notion of what a slab is. Un-normative slabs push the definition and use of slab past achieving simply structural goals. By breaking away from being a purely structural element, the slab is enabled to serve a multitude of functions, both spatial and aesthetic: the slab becomes sculptural, monolithic, artistic, and scenic. Slab is no longer is an array of layered architectural elements, but becomes an interactive urban element. It becomes spectacle. The built environment now interacts with its user. The Macedonia Telekon Office building uses slabs in a way that engages with both the exterior and interior of the building. The office workers are able to engage in the city by walking out onto balconies which are pulled out of the facade on the ground floor and see through windows that become virtual portals to the exterior world. These balconies allow workers to taste fresh air while never leaving their workplace, creating the false sense of release from their mundane work environment. Their form is curved and seemingly fluid and lightweight, defying the materiality of concrete with its hard edges, heaviness, and rigidity. Its use in a non-normative way is the antithesis of itself

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and a critique of the limitations of a material, or the limitations of past architects and their use of it. While the exterior form of the building has become sculptural and highly non-normative, ultimately the interior of the building is remarkably similar to more normative buildings. This begs the question - is this new use of slab truly accomplishing anything new? What are the possible further uses of non-normative slab construction and where does it end? While the


Un-Normative: Telekom Office, Skopje, Macedonia

Roof Extension

Window

Balcony

Benches

The exterior of the Telekon building is lined with

benches which are extruded from semi-circle profiles. They are unfamiliar yet also echo the form of the building and its curves and suggest a level of comfort past an elevated slab of rock or a flat wooden bench, enabling further interaction with the architecture around us. In this sense, the material is codified for human interaction based off of where a ‘normative’ form such as a flat plane is distorted to achieve a human function such as viewing, movement, or leisure. Or at least this appearance is made on the facade to the public and to tourists but not to those inside. Across Yugoslavia, non-normative slabs take the form of surfaces and materials being used in unconventional locations, doing the job of a different thing - simulating a different reality. Otherworldly ceiling tiles with impossible textures, mini golf courses with undulating terrains which are dominated by golf balls, and even playgrounds in housing blocks which are cast entirely out of concrete. Whether for affordability, uniformity of material, or other motives, the distinction is clear from what we call normative uses of slabs. Or is it? Perhaps attempting to categorize construction methods after the fact is an arbitrary fetishization.

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answer is open-ended especially in the future as building technologies enable architects to do more with less, here, the use of un-normative slabs is in fact quite normative and is used to mimic something familiar, such as simulating a chair out of a material which typically would be the opposite of comfort concrete. Concrete is not soft, nor malleable or plush, yet its formal rigidity has no certain basis.


By making a distinction between what is Normative and what is not, we allow ourselves to give preference to certain typologies without reason while simultaneously alienating ourselves from what is around us. It leads to the fetishization of the ‘different’ and the generation of false narratives. By thinking critically of our own observations, we can avoid becoming blind to the realities around us and their banality.


VOID

“A void is something, but nothing.” Tota Kismedinova Hunter & Julia Ocejo Vivanco

A void is a territory that is constantly being engaged and disengaged by the individual. A void “evokes a need to feel and understand places, to engage and initiate, and to experience and be,” (Jonas). While initially thought of as the left-behind and empty space, the “void is anything but nothing,” (Minkjan). It rather can be understood as all of the potential space that is occupied by an individual that can be seen in varying scales of operation. Voids are the transitional spaces from one activity to another and are the territories where actions play out. They are a “metaphor for the interrupted and brutally

exposed land where remnants of lives are scattered, shattered, forgotten, hidden, and revived,” (Jonas). Voids can perform in multiple ways and have an impact on the social, environmental, political, and economic aspects of territories. They are not merely empty spaces but rather undefined zones without clear functions where any form of action can happen. These voids are key aspects of the human existence in their everyday life. They are the free spaces for human expression, and therefore, they allow the individual to constantly shape and reshape these territories.


Void

Territory Void

Immaterial

Between Myth & Utopia

Material

Split

Corridor

Break

Floor

Carve

Window

Threshold

Stairs

Wall

Social

Hard

Soft

Built Environment

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Economic

Political


New Normative

Void Figure Ground

The concept of territory goes beyond just land and terrain, but rather it offers itself to redefine ‘space’ as a political tool. Because the physical territory can be “owned, distributed, mapped, calculated, bordered and controlled,” the workings of power broadly align with the method of understanding territory (Elden). Beyond the banal understanding of terrain as physical land, the defined and refined boundaries of territory need to be “understood through representation, appropriation and control,” (Elden). When experiencing a space, one must delineate the edges to define a territory. Boundaries become possible, in their own sense, through this notion of space. In turn, space aids in further defining and reinforcing the idea of the classification of territoriality by area, people and things (Paasi). The negotiation of defining and classifying the edge condition must involve the communication of boundaries. But much of what is considered to be an important edge condition depends on the individual occupying the space. Perception of the individual is a significant aspect of the spatial experience. Vision in itself is not only a physical operation, but rather an intricate relationship between “the

body and the psyche,” (Foster). The perception of the individual impacts the space around them; therefore, it is “not a frozen framework where social life occurs,” but rather it “is made, given meanings, and destroyed in social and individual action,”(Jonas). Territories are continuously negated and transformed by human action and continuously creating a new meaning of territory. Just as territory can be classified by area based upon the communication of boundaries, voids can be seen through the same lens of analysis (Paasi). Voids appear in different scales of territories and interact with each other to redefine the concept of space. Even though voids have the association with ‘the empty’ and ‘the nothing’, by analyzing them through the lens of territory, voids become ‘something’. By inverting the figure ground as it is normally represented, a figure ground of the void can be seen, and the void now becomes the object. By doing so, the void develops a spatial characteristic that allows for a new form of representation. Seeing void as territory aids in understanding one’s surroundings, Hegel even states,“it’s only from nothing, which something may appear”.

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Building Figure Ground

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Void

“Territory is a historical question: produced, mutable and fluid.”

- Stuart Elden, Land, Terrain, Territory, 2010

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Case Studies

New Belgrade

Between Myth & Utopia Sea Side Resorts

Skopje

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Void

A void is the ‘other.’ It is the space needed to see, experience, and understand the built environment. There is a misconception that a void is ‘nothing’ and a space without activity or occupancy. This leads to the belief that there is no cultural significance to voids. This understanding of void creates the idea that a void is only the empty space between solid figures; however, the void should be reconceptualized to become the space as a volume that contains all objects within its boundaries. The void is this all-encompassing figure, volume, program, and all that exists within it. Voids are fundamental spaces in the context that allow one to recognize the other. The convention that the void represents must then be reversed in order to redefine the concept and explore the opportunities it can create. 128


Methodology

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Void

A void can manifest in a space both in material and immaterial forms. The material attributes of a void are its physical boundaries, that express themselves as architectural elements. The immaterial, on the other hand, encompasses the intangible character of a space. Covering aspects of an area in terms of its political, economic, and social attributes, the immaterial characteristics of a void are exemplified. It is important for a void to be analyzed in both aspects in order to fully understand its physical and cultural consequences on the built environment. Working within the former Yugoslavia, a context with significant historical, political, and territorial fluctuations, the voids in this territory are present throughout different scales and formal operations in both dynamic and static ways. The existing and changing voids continue to shape spaces in which society interacts and lives while different boundaries and ideologies are implemented in these spaces. In order to begin to examine the void as something full instead of empty and as a space where anything can happen, physical and ideological elements 130


Methodology

plans for both cities were developed where spaces interact with various layers of activities taking place. The material elements at this scale appear as larger forms such as buildings, streets, sidewalks, parks, etc. These elements determine the spatial qualities that allow a void to take shape and contextualize itself by becoming any type of space. The immaterial void can also be analyzed in this scale by the transformation of spatial ideologies around the city in which the space changes its function allowing different political, economic, and social forces to display their power.

At the same time, voids can be also analyzed within a larger context. For example, Belgrade and Skopje exemplify the development of voids in the urban context in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Urban master 131

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Telekom Office Building, Skopje, Macedonia

come into place to delaminate the spaces in which voids exist. The material elements become edges in which the void is ‘bounded’ by the ‘figure’ and define a physical void in space. For example, the physical boundaries of the void in the corridor of the abandoned hotel Marina Lučica are the walls, ground, roof, and debris located in the space. These architectural elements act not only as edges but also as the physical characteristics of the void that help to spatialize it. Simultaneously, the corridor in the abandoned hotel acts as an immaterial void in which the original ideology of connecting people from their rooms to the coast has been changed due to its lack of occupation. Even though the corridor has maintained a material spatial void, its state of abandonment and the political change in the region has caused the perception of the corridor to change from its origin.


Split

Break

Carve

Threshold


Formal Operations

Division of Space

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Unintentional break

Reduction of a mass

Circulation through space

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Void

similar formal qualities that different types of voids create. These qualities can be interpreted through their formal operations and correlate to specific functions in the material realm. The formal operations enable further categorization of the void as new layers of interpretation emerge. Even though the diagrams present a clear visual boundary of the space, there are overlaps in how the formal operations can be defined. Various formal operations can exist in the same space to evaluate how to view a void, but it can be defined drastically differently depending on the perspective and perception of the observer.

As voids can be anything with multiple scales of viewing and interaction, a method and process of material analysis must be implemented to categorize the spatial characteristics that voids can become. By diagramming the spatial elements that ‘bind’ the void, the space that the void creates now becomes something. The methodology of diagramming the void not only allows for the display the void’s dimensional characteristics but it also allows for the grouping of 134

A void should be observed through a visual operation by using vision and visuality, connecting both the physical action and the social fact. However, there is “a difference, many differences, among how we see, how we are able, allowed, or made to see, and how we see this seeing or the unseen therein” between vision and visuality of each viewer when defining the void (Foster). As the void is viewed differently by each perceiver, the interpretation of void changes depending on the vision and visuality of the space. Although the void changes for each viewer, the void still exists and can be ‘something’.


Methodology

The analysis of voids depends on the perspective of the observer. This methodology is only the beginning to analyze voids as territory, and with the consideration of individual perception, there is another layer of complexity added. Nishitani remarks, “both subject and object exist in a state of mutual confirmation and fixity” (Bryson). For this to be true, there needs to be a constant form of communication to establish oneself through the perception of ‘the other’ by attempting to specify the conditions of a territory. In this way, a void can be ‘everything’; however, further exploration might delimit the understanding of void to ‘something’.

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Between Myth & Utopia

Central Train Station, Skopje, Macedonia

By reconceptualizing the void as a volume, it becomes an object. Analyzing the void with the Japanese theory of ‘nothingness’, the initial thought of a void as being nothing now is seen as an object itself. As stated by Nishitani and Nishida, “At no point does the object come under arrest that would immobilize it as form…the object exists in a radical impermanence…” (Bryson). When distinguishing something, the other is necessary to distinguish itself. As Sanskrit writes, “form-voidness; voidness-from”, they can neither be separated nor understood without the other.


Between Myth & Utopia

Void

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Provocation

Between Myth & Utopia “We begin with nothing, and it is only through the self-negation of nothing that something appears.�

- Hegel

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Void

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Void Index

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Void

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Formal Operations Index

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“The world of inanimate objects to some extent always looks back on the perceiver�

- Norman Bryson, Vision and Visuality, 1988


Moment / Memor y Tamara Marović

“The distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however persistent.” -Albert Einstein To live now - is to experience the thickness of the present moment with all senses, and within the complexity of the material and immaterial world and with a precise distinction from past or future. According to Lao Tzu, living in the present is being in peace.

Between Myth & Utopia

What is certain is that a moment is inevitably short, but transformable – it is immortal. It is the time following the moment that makes that moment a valuable memory, and that is when it starts influencing actions or behavior. In moments of transformation, it consists of hopes, fears, satisfaction, intentions… possibly becoming surreal. Memory, in that way, becomes a continuance of a phenomenon that is impossible to grasp. Nevertheless, considering that memory is based on a subjective experience of a real or abstract situation and/or place, there should not be intention to categorize it, or separate it from its creator – only to critique certain consequences created by the experience of memory. However, actions or behavior based on a memory are a pure reflection of human character and the ways that reality is being transformed and anticipated.

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Being on a five week course through 4 countries and 15 cities, means having countless memories yet to be processed. However, at this point, the final product is a collective of those memories, forced into a real time scale, filtered dozens of times in order to create an ‘objectively intuitive’ Atlas od Balkan. Still, this is only a first step of the transformation and processing of experience, as being in a place makes it difficult to embrace objectiveness and step away from the impression of perfection of a place - an ideology, that creates both visual and abstract conditions. This journey has been all about being in space and experiencing place. An environment layered by history, political changes, natural and cultural diversity, social and spatial contrasts. Seeing through the lenses of outsiders, as Jean Baudrillard would emphasize - created the basis for investigation and critique. Having experienced everything named, as if it wasn’t challenging enough, the most important part of the journey has been living with diverse personalities, learning to put the needs of the collective in front of our individual ones, working surrounded by stunning sceneries which take one away into the deepness of


being - reconsidering everything known. From a certain critical distance, both spatial and temporal, the greatest learning moments generated by this course will be created based on memories of a place and feeling through unique experiences - ones that were created outside of a rigorous academic environment, yet overloaded with discoveries, skills and learning.

Between Myth & Utopia

Youth is innocent and curious; students’ diversity is impressively inspirational; seeking for knowledge pushes boundaries, The opportunities provided by this course - the creation of a territorial and ideological base for collecting data and forming opinions - is the essence of existing of this book.

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Special Thanks Tanja Bakračlić Azra Brkanovic Martin Colić Julia Czerniak Vladimir Deskov Sou Fang Miloš Gačević Katryn Hansen Matea Kobeščak Marie Kulikowsky Ognen Marina Marija Milinković Ana Nikezić Morana Pap Elisabeth Ryan Slavica Stamatović Pavle Stamenović Aleksandra Stupar Gavrio Vuković

US State Department Syracuse University Adriatic Sailing Syracuse University UACS DOMAIN Office URBAR Syracuse University Adriatic Sailing Syracuse University Faculty of Architecture Skopje Faculty of Architecture Belgrade Faculty of Architecture Belgrade Faculty of Architecture Zagreb Syracuse University Architecture Faculty of Architecture Podgorica Faculty of Architecture Belgrade Faculty of Architecture of Belgrade URBAR

The majority of the images used in the publication were taken by the researchers. All reasonable attempts have been made to contact the copyright holders of the images used in the publication. If you hold the rights to an image that has been used without permission, please contact the editor and a formal acknowledgment will be printed in the next issue.


“Reality is for those who cannot sustain the dream�

S. Freud


Between Myth & Utopia

A Perspective Atlas for the Balkans

Profile for Material Contours

Between Myth and Utopia: A Perspective Atlas for the Former Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia  

Between Myth and Utopia: A Perspective Atlas for the Former Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia  

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