Aleksandar Kušić, Nataša Janković

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This article investigates Cerak Vinogradi housing estate (Darko Marušić, Milenija Marušić and Nedeljko Borovnica, 1977-1988), moving through a string of relevant factors: from the chief principles of the housing policy, the urban and architectural design of the estate and the dynamics of its construction, to the contacts between the architects and residents, and the latter’s informal interventions. We approach these factors by referring to the highly popular 1980 TV series Vruć vetar, with the series acting as a valuable insight into the social and spatial patterns of ex-Yugoslavia. We use the series to demonstrate how Cerak Vinogradi were the result of tension existing between two frames: the first defined through urban and architectural design and unsuccessfully defended by the architects, and the second which involved deficiencies in construction and apartment space, inciting in turn the user interventions. Demonstrating all the alienation the housing policy of the day resulted in, we treat the informal interventions not as a response to the invisibility of users but as a supplement to this very same policy. Referring to the Lacanian theory of socio-symbolic order (the ‘big Other’), we interpret the user interventions as a crucial part of the existing order, placing them in the context of the cynical logic of self-management socialism.


Cerak Vinogradi, socialist housing, spatial frame, user interventions, “big Other”

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