Exhibition: Designing the Republic - Architecture, Design and Photography in Slovenia, 1991–2011


The Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO) will celebrate the twentieth birthday of Slovenia with the project Designing the Republic. The exhibition, catalogue and short films on architecture that will be presented on 30 June are a creative, future-oriented way to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Slovenia’s independence. The aim of the exhibition is to use the selected works to examine the effectiveness of architectural and design responses to the new circumstances by comparing the original ideas and the present situation and combining them with the photographic approaches of the period. A brief overview of architecture, design and photography will present the special achievements and good investments, as well as point out the disadvantages and weak points of the last two decades and formulate questions about the future.

Designing the Republic

The great transformation that began twenty years ago with political, social and economic changes encompassed almost all spheres of life. Slovenia’s independence is today seen as a controversial turning point that on the one hand unleashed creative energy and opened up new creative opportunities in architecture, design and other creative practices, but on the other hand, placed architecture and design within new circumstances that demanded a proactive attitude towards finances, clients, practical needs, available knowledge and random coincidences.

Superficially it might seem that the architecture and design assignments during that period were focused mostly on increasing living comfort beyond what was attainable during Socialist times. Architects and designers increasingly found themselves in the role of providers of services that had to be cheap, fast and immediately effective. In circumstances where everything is open and where common goals are minimised and short-term, creative individuals attempt to introduce innovations and new approaches in every small project. If we look twenty years back, it might seem that Slovenia did not produce anything major or penetrating during that time. Nevertheless, the first twenty years of its existence is a fascinating compilation of projects that increased the variety of approaches and products marked by individually adapted design and where space and objects markedly act as generators of human experience.

The exhibition was prepared by an interdisciplinary group of curators led by Matevž Čelik. The architecture exhibits were selected by Jeff Bickert, Petra Čeferin, Matevž Čelik, Tadej Glažar and Bogo Zupančič. The design exhibits were chosen by Cvetka Požar, Špela Šubic, Maja Vardjan. The selection of photography exhibits was carried out by Primož Lampič.

Opening: Thursday, 30 June 2011 at 8 p.m.

Museum of Architecture and Design

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