Kaitlyn Miklovich: Zagreb Spring School “Context Matters” Review

Zagreb Spring School: Context Matters | April 28 – May 3 2017

Zagreb Spring School opened April 28th with six architecture students in attendance: 3 each from University of Detroit Mercy and University of Zagreb. It began with a historical context lecture by Josip Jagić on Yugoslavia in WWII. It gave the American students a brief glimpse into the past of the prior state. Moving on there were lectures on the Development of Memorials and Monuments between 1940 and 1960, Development of Memorial Areas & Parks and lastly The Destruction of Partisan Monuments. The lectures flowed into each other, speaking first to how there was to be 6000 monuments erected in Croatia between 1946-1965 and how there were different periods, such as abstraction of the monuments. Secondly about how the communities financed their own monuments and what they stood for–for the future and not just a place to lay flowers. Monuments grew in their functions as well, adding things so that people would stay, such as libraries, theaters and hotels. The last lecture expressed the downfall of the monuments beginning in 1991, where 3000 monuments were destroyed by many forces, and a Typology of Deterioration arose. Ending the first day were two workshops with Erika Lindsay, a photography workshop on the different rules and tips of placement of subject and balance, as well as settings and what they affect, then a graphics workshop sowing the many principles of design.

Zagreb. © Kaitlyn Miklovich

Saturday included two tours, the first half of the day was spent at The Memorial Park Dotrščina, followed by lunch, then a tour of Zagreb’s City Center. We learned a lot about the different meanings the abstract, crystal forms in The Memorial Park Dotrščina took on and their significance at the time they were built. Additionally, we learned about the history of the city center and its specific construction.

Dotrščina, Zagreb. © Kaitlyn Miklovich

Sunday, we had group discussions over readings pertaining to monuments and the different emotions they evoke. We read: The Role of the Counter-Monument Movement in Germany’s Collective Memory, How Societies Remember, Reflections on Urbanism, Monument, Territory and the Mediation of War Memory in Socialist Yugoslavia, Between Memory and History and Memorijali Revolucije. These readings sparked deep conversation about many monuments, both standing and demolished

Monday and Tuesday were the two biggest days, the first including the tour of Petrova Gora, both to the Partisan Hospital and Vojin Bakic’s monument. They were equally just as amazing, the history and need for the Partisan Hospital and its surrounding buildings, and the monument itself architecturally grand in its own way, they are mutually important to the people, past and present. Tuesday began with a presentation of a project: Festivalization of a Neighborhood and Anti-gentrification Insights by Dafne Berc, Bojan Mucko and Dino Belamarić. After that we went straight to work in international pairs on our projects and presentations on our choice of revitalization projects for Vojin Bakic’s monument to successfully end the workshop.

Petrova gora, monument. © Kaitlyn Miklovich

Partisan hospital at Petrova gora. © Kaitlyn Miklovich

Inside Petrova gora memorial. © Kaitlyn Miklovich

„Context matters“: international spring school of architecture and urban planning Zagreb, open call for students – deadline extended to April 24th

 „Context matters“: international spring school of architecture and urban planning

Zagreb, April 28 – May 3 2017

Dear students,

In cooperation with the School of Architecture University of Detroit Mercy, SF:ius (Social Fringe: interesting untold stories, www.sfius.org), is organizing a student workshop „Context matters“ from April 28th to May 3rd 2017. The workshop focuses on the (re)contextualization of undesirable socialist heritage, along with rethinking the conservation, survival and revival of those forgotten places.

Combining lectures with field trips and practical work the workshop provides a unique intensive course in urban planning and memorial architecture of socialism. It will include site visits to Petrova gora, Spomen-park Dotrščina with other Zagreb city memorial sites. In the course of the workshop, students will have the opportunity to produce their own design projects in international teams, suggesting possible revival or conservational solutions for the visited sites and present their final work publicly.

Workshops on photography, diagramming, site analysis and graphics/visualizing data will be organized by Assistant professor Erika Lindsay from the School of Architecture, University Detroit Mercy.

The program also provides lectures about socio-political context, historical context, social heritage in post-socialist context and conservation, held by SF:ius members, in collaboration with other experts.

The call is open to students of architecture and design. If you’re interested in applying, please send your CV and a letter of intent in English to the following address: sfius@sfius.org with a subject “context matters: application 2017”.

Your CV should not be more than one page long and your letter of intent not longer than 500 words.

Aplication deadline is April 20th 2017. For additional information or questions, feel free to contact us. Application deadline has been extended to April 24th, 12:00 CET.

Looking forward to having you on our workshop team!


Erika Lindsay is founder of a media-infused research and design practice which embraces collaboration and curiosity through creating at many scales. Her recent work, documents the reappropriation of monuments in former Yugoslavia as part of her ongoing research into memorial elasticity. She studied at the University of Michigan where she earned a master of architecture and master of science in critical conservation. Lindsay holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a concentration in digital cinema from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. An assistant professor of Architecture at the University of Detroit Mercy, she is currently teaching a design studio focused on architectural conservation and adaptive reuse of difficult heritage as an exchange professor at the Warsaw University of Technology.

Download workshop schedule.