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City of Zagreb
City Office for Physical Planning, Construction, Communal Affairs and Traffic


Faculty of Architecture
University of Zagreb


City Acupuncture


Oris - House of Architecture




City of Zagreb
City Office for Culture, Education and Sport


Republic of Croatia
Ministry of Culture

Work title: Working class catwalk

The term square has been playing a leading role within the paradigm of public space since ancient times. At the intersection of all roads, squares represent a meeting place, a place of speech, and a place where the ideas are being conveyed. Through history and up to this day, the main feature that distinguishes it from all other peripheral public spaces remains the commodity exchange. In modern day society, the squares are often recognized as sites of conflict of interests. Architecture frames the space and forms the stage for a clash of economic and political paradigm. The square, as the epitome of an open public space, is being moved from a particular context but with the retention within the paradigm of European city. Architecture has never had a revolutionary tendency, but rather the function of support and maintenance mechanism of the ruling system. In fact, public spaces represent the main place of interaction, where we can effectively serve the information of which is almost impossible to escape. Logic area is conditioned by the logic of the capital: the squares do not appear to be neither democratic, nor ideological creations, but rather a prelude to a shopping mall. Billbordization of architecture As the anti-capitalist group called Billboard Liberation front state in their manifesto, we can: shut down, smack, shoot, and hack or in other ways avoid television, computers and radio. We are not compelled to buy magazines or subscribe to newspapers. Of all the media types used to disseminate the ad, there is only one which is entirely inescapable – billboard. At the end of 70’s, Jenny Holzer sets her work so that the people could “bump into” her while performing their everyday activities. The statement: “Protect me from what I want” represents a terse, almost reactive recognition of the author. It is this form of advertising that puts the architecture in an entirely new context with regards to contemporary practice. Architecture as such becomes a mere medium of advertising. Commercials are infinitely multiplied, becoming ever larger, consequently leading to the loss/deletion of its identity when it comes to urban environment. Architecture as a polygon of communication Kevin Lynch said that the reference points which existed in modern cities are lost with regards to the postmodern city. We are no longer dependent on natural phenomenons such as rivers and mountains or architectural objects (square, amphitheater). In the multitude of references, the architecture has allowed the square to become a training ground for communications in a sea of signs. Architecture acting on its historical remnants supports the close and unavoidable bond between people and (multi)corporations. Architecture supports the brand, adds to its value, but at the same time remains dependent on the existing capital investors. Financial power of the investor exceeds the architectural value of the buildings. Public space eludes the brand. Society accepts andembraces consumerism as unavoidable –ism of the twentieth century. Everything is at our fingertips and open spaces are being designed to support the accelerated interaction. A place where ugly becomes beautiful, the unbelievable becomes reality, where lies are reality. The connections that have up until now been problematic are being produced and adjusted to meet our needs, all as part of the synthetic process. The decision to neglect a problem in order to achieve certain goals on a short notice represents an equally radical solution. Or is it just a paradox building a new paradox? It is simply not natural to avoid the problem, make in nonexistent! This is creating a new reality, a new truth which is free of borders, where we are free to reach most desire. An explicit copy of an ideal life, selfishly taking all that is sweet, and appealing to the eye. Grotesque sparkling ambiances ready to host its most dissolute consumers. This represents a formal and functional “prostitution” appealing to the naked eye and easy to use. Neon baroque Square becomes an open extension for big brand stores and architecture becomes a part of advertisement. By arriving at the square we are actually already present in Apple, H & M, Zara, Nike stores, immediately looking around, sizing, trying etc. We are showing off. At the same time, we are participating in one big consumerist fashion show with an exciting “city scenery”. The idea of setting up the catwalk and replacing the traditional elements of the market with commercials of famous brands aims to present a critical view on the current and future state of architecture, which will always try to create something for the purpose of the capital and, on the other hand, to continue its existence. Citizens will always be consumers of the sweet life that is served by architecture. Cop lights, flash lights, spot lights Strobe lights, street lights All of the lights, all of the lights. Kanye West
Work details
Application Number 0000702978
Author Marelja, Olga , Serbia
Coauthors /, / ,
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Vasic, Stefan , Croatia

Juror Comments

  • Juror @ 03/08/2015 20:18:46
    A monumental gesture referring to the so called billboardization of public space serving the retail and architecture as a training ground for communication. The project does not intrigue and offer a new insight.
  • Juror @ 03/08/2015 20:51:33
    Analitically interesting, but graphical partly lacking.
  • Juror @ 03/08/2015 13:58:12
    Interesting linear drawings. Good equilibrium between content and design production. A quality in provocativeness of the work.
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