March 2, 2023-March 3, 2023
Svetlana Kana Radević: Aggregate Assemblies
Svetlana Kana Radević’s architecture is a radical act of mediation. Rising to prominence in post-war Yugoslavia, her buildings speak on all scales, engaging geo-political and social complexities. Drawing from knowledge of materiality and vernacular traditions within her native Montenegro (formerly Yugoslavia), her work filters modernism’s globalized forces through an intimate, place-based lens. Radević’s civic spaces re-centered provincial knowledge and facilitated a socially-progressive public sphere within the Yugoslav socialist state.
At age 29, Radević became the youngest and only woman to receive the national Yugoslavian Borba Award for Architecture in 1968 for her design of Hotel Podgorica. Prominent projects such as the Podgorica Bus Terminal, Petrovac Apartment Building, and Monument to Fallen Fighters express Radević’s commitment to generating a symbiosis between civic engagement and landscape design through the use of local building materials, bold forms, and generous proportions. Radević articulated her own cross-cultural practice, working simultaneously between the United States, Japan, France, Russia, and Yugoslavia, where she eventually returned for the remainder of her career.
The seventh Womxn in Design and Architecture Conference at the Princeton School of Architecture honors the life and work of Svetlana Kana Radević. The 2022-23 conference proceedings will call on the discipline with timely topics and inquiries, such as What is architecture’s role in times of social and political transformation? How can architecture re-center local systems of power, collective memory, and vernacular tradition? Disrupting the dichotomy between periphery and center while standing as one of the most avant-garde voices of Yugoslavian architecture, Radević’s legacy raises questions that are as pressing now as they were during her lifetime.
As both a committed civil servant and autonomous practicing architect, Svetlana Kana Radević designed spaces that supported dialogue between the Yugoslav socialist state and its public. Growing up in post-WWII Montenegro, Radević bore witness firsthand to the destruction and reconstruction of the country’s capital, Podgorica. Following her graduation from the University of Belgrade in 1963, Radević led a prolific architectural practice that challenged provincial and patriarchal ideals and proposed new ways of living.
How did movements around class struggle and worker self-management intersect with shifting Montenegrin gender politics within the broader context of socialist Yugoslavia? What role did women architects play in restructuring domestic environments within postwar urban planning and architecture?
Structure & Style
As the principal designer and sole proprietor of her own architectural practice, Svetlana Kana Radević formulated her own architectural language. Drawing from the globalizing lexicon of late Modernism and the vernacular traditions of her homeland, she engaged an expansive network of influences and resisted a singularly-defined style. Radević’s presence and practice disrupted traditional conceptions of gender within the Yugoslavian socialist state while negotiating between public and private practice and urban planning and architectural modes of engagement. Her architecture utilized concrete slabs with expressive curves, and sculptural forms articulated through techniques and materials drawn from the local environment. Ambitious in scale and form, Radević’s buildings address complex programmatic requirements with generous public spaces and careful attention to place.
How did Radević’s morphological, material, and structural choices relate to her stylistic frames of reference? To what extent did they speak to the lived experiences of the public within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
Site & Situation
Svetlana Kana Radević’s practice mediated a range of geographies and architectural discourses. Already an accomplished architect, Radević studied as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, achieving her Master’s degree in Louis Kahn’s Master Class in 1972, and later pursuing her doctorate. She continued on to Tokyo, Japan, working at Kishō Kurokawa’s atelier and embedding herself within the Japanese Metabolist Movement. Working between Yugoslavia, Japan, the United States—and even France and Russia—Radević articulated her own axis of architectural influence. Later centering her practice in Montenegro, she maintained cross-geographic connections while differentiating herself from the market-driven West and the communist sphere of the 1960s and 70s.
To what extent do Radević’s life and career lead us to question the relationships between center and periphery within the architectural canon? What repercussions might the inclusion of her woman-led, cross-geographic practice have within the field today?
Svetlana Kana Radević envisioned her architecture as a tool, serving the public good and continuing the efforts of the socialist welfare state. Dedicated to workers’ rights to a high material quality of life, her architecture was driven by an ideological framework in which public spaces hold radical potential for social and political change. From the Hotel Podgorica to an apartment block for a workers’ cooperative in Petrovac-na-Moru, Radević’s work stands as testament to the strength of her political commitment, and her ability to translate her beliefs into accessible, egalitarian, and decommodified buildings of all types. Often operating as social condensers, Radević’s structures not only sheltered their inhabitants but framed new ideas of collective living and social cohesion.
How does Radević’s methodology serve as a precedent for moving outside of economizing logic and into pro-social ideals of self-management and collective ownership? To what extent does her approach model alternatives to modern-day architectural practice and ideology?
Eleven architecture symposia to check out this spring. The Architect’s Newspaper. March 1, 2023.
A Socialist Architect Gets Her Due. Samuel Medina, Skyline Issue 106. The New York Review of Architecture. March 17, 2023.
Ljiljana Blagojević, Ph.D.
Dr. Ljiljana Blagojević is an architect, architectural historian, and theorist. She worked as an architect in the Office of Zaha Hadid, RHWL in London, and Institute for Architecture and Urbanism in Belgrade. She taught architectural design, history, and theory at University of Belgrade, Faculty of Architecture, where she served as President of the Council, Vice Dean for Research, President of the Committee for Accreditation of Doctoral Studies, President of the Doctoral Studies Admissions Committee, and President and member of Postgraduate and Doctoral Council, and led a national Scientific Research Project in Social Sciences. Her visiting appointments include Yale University School of Architecture, University of Donja Gorica in Podgorica, and University of Novi Sad. She lectured by invitation at the ETH Zurich, Milano Polytechnic, Harvard University GSD, Parsons/The New School, Yale School of Architecture, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, University of Zagreb, and elsewhere. She is a Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow, European Forum Alpbach, and European UN Habitatspeaker, European Architectural History Network Conference Chair. Dr. Blagojević authored scholarly monographs Modern House in Belgrade, 1920-1941 (Belgrade, 2000), Modernism in Serbia: The Elusive Margins of Belgrade Architecture, 1919-1941 (Cambridge MA, 2003), Novi Beograd: Contested Modernism (Belgrade, 2007), Itineraries: Modern and Mediterranean. Tracing the Steps of Architects Nikola Dobrović and Milan Zloković (Belgrade, 2015), and co-authored Dobrović in Dubrovnik: A Venture in Modern Architecture (Berlin, 2015). She is published in Planning Perspectives, The Journal of Architecture, Architecture Research Quarterly, Architectural History, Prostor, Architektura & Urbanizmus and other scholarly journals. She has also co-authored the pavilion of Serbia at 11th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. Dr. Blagojević is recipient of Association of Serbian Architects Lifetime Achievement Award, Ranko Radović Award, and Grand Prix of the Salon of Architecture in Belgrade. She is currently engaged as Design Manager at Deka Inženjeringin Belgrade.
Chiara Bonfiglioli is a Lecturer in Gender & Women’s Studies at University College Cork, Ireland, where she also coordinates the one-year interdisciplinary Masters in Women’s Studies. She completed a Ph.D. at the Graduate Gender Programme, Utrecht University, in 2012, and held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Pula, and the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. She is the author of Women and Industry in the Balkans: The Rise and Fall of the Yugoslav Textile Sector (I.B. Tauris 2019).
Sonja Dragović is a PhD candidate and a researcher at the Center for Socioeconomic and Territorial Studies – DINÂMIA’CET-Iscte at the University Institute of Lisbon, where she is pursuing doctoral studies at the Department of Architecture and Urbanism as a scholarship holder of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. She graduated from the Faculty of Economics of the University of Montenegro and completed the 4CITIES master’s degree in urban studies at the Free University of Brussels (ULB) in 2015. Her research interests include socially engaged architectural practices, urban social movements, and the interplay between activism and urban governance. Her own activist efforts focus on working with local communities toward improving participatory methods, public policies, and shared spaces. She is the author and co-author of several books, research papers, expert reports, and policy proposals related to these issues. She is a member of activist and research collectives KANA/ko ako ne arhitekt (Podgorica) and Laboratório de Estudos Urbanos (Lisbon), and one of the editors of LeftEast.
Dr. Lina Džuverović
Dr. Lina Džuverović is a cultural worker based in London, UK. She is a Lecturer in Arts Policy and Management at the Film, Media and Cultural Studies Department, Birkbeck College, University of London where she also co-directs BIRMAC- Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Media and Culture and organises the Decolonial Feminist Forum which she founded in 2019. Lina’s research focuses on explorations of collectivity, cultural labour and possibilities of reimagining the sphere of contemporary art as a site of solidarity and community-building. She was the recipient of Bard College’s Centre for Arts and Human Rights Faculty Fellowship (2022) for her current research project And Others: The Gendered Politics and Practices of Art Collectives in association with Art Monthly Magazine, UK.
Previously Lina was Artistic Director of London’s Calvert 22 Foundation; founding Director of Electra contemporary arts agency, London; Media Arts Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, and has taught at University of Reading and Institute for Contemporary Art, TU Graz, Austria. Selected exhibitions include ‘Monuments Should Not Be Trusted’ (Nottingham Contemporary, 2016), Sanja Iveković – ‘Unknown Heroine’ (South London Gallery/Calvert 22, 2012), 5th Nordic Contemporary Art Biennial, Norway, 2009), ‘Her Noise’ (South London Gallery/Tate, 2005). Lina regularly publishes in international journals and her articles have appeared in Afterall, Circuit, Women in Music, Parse, On Curating and in edited volumes, covering a range of topics across contemporary art, curating, critical art geography and cultural labour. Lina’s PhD (2017) at the Royal College of Art/Tate was funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Centre Collaborative Doctoral Award.
Anna Kats is a Ph.D. student in History of Architecture at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University whose research examines the global proliferation of state-socialist architectural production within the Three World Order. At the IFA, Kats is developing a dissertation project on Soviet-Brazilian architectural exchange after World War II, which examines Socialist Realism and dependency theory as parallel vectors of transfer. She co-curated Skirting the Center: Svetlana Kana Radević on the Periphery of Post-War Architecture at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale, an archival survey of Radević’s built work and professional commitments across socialist Yugoslavia, the United States, and Japan. As a member of the curatorial team in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York between 2016 and 2020, Kats worked as Curatorial Assistant on the 2018 exhibition Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948-1980. Her research has been supported by the Fulbright Program, the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, and the United States Department of Education, among others. She holds a B.A. in History of Architecture and Slavic Languages from Columbia and frequently writes about modern and contemporary architecture for Artforum, the Architectural Review, and the New York Review of Architecture.
Ena Kukić is an architectural designer based in Graz, Austria. She is a lecturer at the Institute of Construction and Design Principles at the Graz University of Technology, where she teaches design studios and model making. Her research as a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Design and Building Typology at the same university is centered around engaging with spatial fragments of collective memory in Yugoslavia. Born in 1990 in Sarajevo, Ena studied architecture in her hometown as well as in Barcelona and Graz, focusing on architectural typologies and their contribution to the intergenerational transmission of memory. Her Master Thesis in memorial architecture scored the 2018 Austrian GAD Award, and she was selected as a finalist at Archiprix International Biennale 2019. Together with her partner Dinko Jelečević, she developed several design proposals for the revitalization of industrial heritage in Bosnia and Herzegovina, for which they won the renowned national Collegium Artisticum Award for Best Newcomers in 2018 and Best Concept Design in 2019. Shortly after she started teaching at the university, Ena co-founded the Gender Taskforce, a working group dedicated to improving gender equality and equity in architectural education.
Vladimir Kulić is Professor of architectural history and David Lingle Faculty Fellow at Iowa State University. His previous work includes the exhibition Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948-1980 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2018), and the books Modernism In-Between: The Mediatory Architectures of Socialist Yugoslavia (2012), Unfinished Modernisations: Between Utopia and Pragmatism (2012), Sanctioning Modernism: Architecture and the Making of Postwar Identities (2014), Bogdanović by Bogdanović: Yugoslav Memorials through the Eyes of Their Architect (2018), and Second World Postmodernisms: Architecture and Society Under Late Socialism (2019).
Ana Miljački is a critic, curator and Professor of Architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she teaches history, theory and design. She has previously taught studios and seminars at Columbia University, City College in New York and Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She holds a Ph.D. (2007) in history and theory of architecture from Harvard University, an M.Arch. from Rice University and a B.A. from Bennington College. Her research interests range from the role of architecture and architects in the Cold War era Eastern Europe, through the theories of postmodernism in late socialism to politics of contemporary architectural production. Miljački was part of the three member curatorial team, with Eva Franch i Gilabert and Ashley Schafer, of the US Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, where their Biennale project, titled OfficeUS, critically examined the last century of US architectural offices; their professionalization and their concomitant global contribution.
In 2018 Miljački launched the Critical Broadcasting Lab at MIT, engaged in critical curatorial and broadcasting work. Miljački is the author of The Optimum Imperative: Czech Architecture for the Socialist Lifestyle 1938-1968 (Routledge, 2017), co-editor of the OfficeUS series of books, guest editor of Praxis 14: True Stories, the editor of Terms of Appropriation: Modern and Architecture and Global Exchange with Amanda Reeser Lawrence (Routledge, 2018), as well as of The Under the Influence symposium proceedings (Actar, 2019). She recently coedited LOG 54: Coauthoring with Ann Lui, and an issue of JAE titled Pedagogies for a Broken World, with Igor Marjanović and Jay Cephas.
Prof. a.D. Dr.-Ing. Mary Pepchinski
Mary Pepchinski was Professor for Architecture and Society at the Technical University Dresden until her retirement in 2021. She served as guest curator for the 2017 exhibition Frau Architekt. 100 years of women in architecture at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) in Frankfurt-am-Main, which traveled to Hamburg, Zürich, and Düsseldorf. Her publications include Feminist Space. Exhibitions and Discourses between Philadelphia and Berlin 1865-1912 (2007), and the co-edited volumes: Ideological Equals. Women Architects in Socialist Europe 1945-1989 (with M. Simon)(2016); Frau Architekt. Over 100 years of women in architecture (exhibition catalog; with C. Budde, W. Voigt, P. C. Schmal)(2017); and Women Architects and Politics. Intersections between Gender, Power Structures and Architecture in the Long 20th Century (with C. Budde) (2022). She publishes and lectures widely about gender and architecture, including a talk delivered at the 2016 Parity Talks at the ETH Zürich. Her writings about contemporary architecture, with a focus on Germany, have appeared in Progressive Architecture, Bauwelt, Metropolis, Topos, Architectural Record, and many other publications.
Paula Petričević is a philosopher, publicist, feminist and peace activist. She graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Belgrade. She also holds a Master’s degree in Political Science and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Faculty of Political Science at the same university. Paula has worked as a program director for the Center for Civic Education and as a lecturer at Women’s Studies organized by ANIMA – Center for Women’s and Peace Education in Kotor. She teaches philosophy at the Gimnazija Kotor and works as an ombudswoman for the daily newspaper “Vijesti” and the weekly magazine “Monitor”. She has published several articles and book chapters on gender issues, the history of the women’s movement in Montenegro, media representation of women and media ethics in domestic and international publications. Editor of the KotorArt Philosophers’ Square 2019.
Dr. Dubravka Sekulić
Dubravka Sekulić is an architect, theorist and educator. Her research explores transformations of contemporary cities at the nexus between the production of space, laws, and economy. She holds a PhD from gta the Institute for History and Theory of Architecture, ETH Zurich (CH), on the relationship between the Yugoslav construction industry and the Non-aligned Movement. Before becoming a Senior Tutor at the School of Architecture, Royal College of Art, London (UK) in 2020, she was an assistant professor at the IZK – Institute for Contemporary Art, Graz Technical Univerity, Graz, Austria. She is the author of several books, including Glotzt Nicht So Romantisch! On Extralegal Space in Belgrade (Jan van Eyck Academie, 2012), and most recently, she collaborated with artist and filmmaker Ana Hušman on Don’t Trace, Draw! (2020), a film that explored the spatial legacy of the Yugoslav pedagogical reform. She was a founding member of the Parity Group at ETH and continues collaborating with Charlotte Malterre-Barthes on the Curriculum Revolution.
Dr. Ljubica Spaskovska
Ljubica Spaskovska is the author of The Last Yugoslav Generation: the Rethinking of Youth Politics and Cultures in Late Socialism (Manchester University Press, 2017) and 1989. A Global History of Eastern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2019) co-written with James Mark, Tobias Rupprecht, and Bogdan Iacob. Her research interests are in the history of South East Europe, the political and socio-cultural history of internationalism, including development, nonalignment, decolonization and histories of generations. An ongoing funded research project explores the ways international organizations such as the UN and transnational networks of architects, planners and international civil servants conceptualized cities as powerful embodiments of the welfare state, examining the ways ideas and templates of post-WW2 urban development circulated, were exported and received or resisted across the Cold War and the North-South divides. Her recent research has been published in the Journal of World History, Contemporary European History, Labor History and Nationalities Papers.
Łukasz Stanek Ph.D. is Professor of Architectural History at A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. Stanek authored Henri Lefebvre on Space: Architecture, Urban Research, and the Production of Theory (University of Minnesota Press, 2011) and Architecture in Global Socialism: Eastern Europe, West Africa, and the Middle East in the Cold War (Princeton University Press, 2020). The latter won the Alice Davis Hitchcock Medallion by the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (2020), the Royal Institute of British Architects President’s Award for History & Theory Research (2020), and the First Book Prize of the International Planning History Society (2022).
His edited volumes include Toward an Architecture of Enjoyment by Henri Lefebvre (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), Team 10 East. Revisionist Architecture in Real Existing Modernism (Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, 2014) and Urban Revolution Now. Henri Lefebvre in Urban Research and Architecture (Ashgate, 2014, with Ákos Moravánszky and Christian Schmid). Previously Stanek taught at the Swiss Federal University of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, and the University of Manchester, UK, and he was guest professor at Harvard University GSD, USA, and the University of Ghana at Legon in Accra, Ghana. He was a fellow at Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (Washington DC, USA), the Canadian Centre for Architecture (Montreal, Canada), and the Institute d’Urbanisme (Paris, France).
Alla Vronskaya is the professor of history and theory of architecture at the University of Kassel, Germany. She is a scholar of modern architecture and architectural theory, with the focus on the former Soviet Union. Her book Architecture of Life: Soviet Modernism and the Human Sciences (University of Minnesota Press, 2022) explores the intersections between architecture, labor management, and human sciences in interwar Russia. Vronskaya is also a regional editor for the former Soviet Union in Bloomsbury Global Encyclopedia of Women in Architecture and the head editor and administrator of the website womenbuildingsocialism.org. She received her Ph.D. in the History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art from MIT in 2014. Her research was supported by residential fellowships from the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, the Getty Research Institute and the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, as well as MIT Presidential Fellowship and the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship, among other awards. Prior to joining Kassel University, she was an assistant professor at the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology and a visiting lecturer at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich.
Dean Mónica Ponce de León
Anna Kats, Ph.D. student, History of Architecture, Institute of Fine Arts
WDA Members Patty Hazle and Hermine Demaël
The “Link” (Lobby)
Dean Mónica Ponce de León
To introduce WDA Mission Statement and Program Prompt
WDA Members Julia Chou, Vanessa Gonzalez, & Ewa Roztocka
Ena Kukić, Lecturer and Ph.D. candidate, Graz University of Technology, Austria
Sonja Dragović, Ph.D. candidate, Iscte - University Institute of Lisbon; Researcher, DINÂMIA'CET-Iscte - Centre for Socioeconomic and Territorial Studies; KANA/ko ako ne arhitekt
Chiara Bonfiglioli, Lecturer, Gender & Women’s Studies at University College Cork, Ireland
Paula Petričević, Ph.D. candidate, Faculty of Political Science at University of Belgrade, Independent researcher, Montenegro
WDA Members Laura Fegely, Sofia Dominguez Rojo, Shoshana Torn
Ljiljana Blagojević, Ph.D. Architect; Design Manager, Deka Inženjering, Belgrade
Alla Vronskaya, Professor of the History and Theory of Architecture, University of Kassel, Germany
Prof. a.D. Dr.-Ing. Mary Pepchinski, Technische Universität Dresden / Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Dresden
Ana Miljački, Ph.D.; Critic; Curator; Professor of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
WDA Members Jocelyn Beausire, Sophia Diodati, & Janeen Zheng
Dr. Ljubica Spaskovska—Author; Lecturer in European History, University of Exeter
Dr. Lina Džuverović—Lecturer, Arts Policy and Management at the Department for Film, Media and Cultural Studies, Birkbeck, University of London
Łukasz Stanek—Professor of Architecture, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan
Dr. Dubravka Sekulić—Senior Tutor, School of Architecture, Royal College of Art, London, UK
Vladimir Kulić—Professor and David Lingle Faculty Fellow, Department of Architecture, College of Design, Iowa State University
Courtney Coffman, Manager of Lectures and Publications
The “Link” (Lobby)