Virtual Air Conditioners

Virtual Air Conditioners

The Building as Canvas

A German studio responds to the ubiquitous Balkan air conditioner.

From Metropolis October, 2005

In the years since Albania’s 1991 revolution, satellite dishes and air conditioners have sprouted from the sides of Tirana’s buildings like disembodied ears and noses. Last year the city’s artist-mayor Edi Rama invited German architects Bolles + Wilson to create a color scheme for a prominent apartment house between the parliament building and former dictator Enver Hoxha’s villa as part of his plan to brighten the post-Communist city—and instead of pretending the awkward appendages didn’t exist, the architects decided to incorporate them into their design.

“We got a brief that included four photographs of the facade,” says Peter Wilson, a partner in the Münster-based office. “Rather than inventing a pattern, I wanted to work with what was there. The thing one saw straightaway was that there were about fifty air conditioners on the building, so any color scheme would be contradicted unless we made them the theme.”

Drawing LHE

We want to draw the LHE 2006.

We are making a psycogeographic map about LHE. For this porpose we are using Mapomatix, an application developed by Yves Degoyon and others.

Mapomatix is tools to draw maps. It doesn't want to have a high gps precission, just the precission of your feelings.

In order to use mapomatix you will need a SVG plugin for your browser. Get it here (I recommend IExplorer or Mozilla).

Please, feel free to add whatever you want to the map. Just press "a" + click wherever you want to add a comment, a picture, a weblinks or more.

Ask me any doubt abou how to do it, but it is really easy.

  • Access to the map here

Zagreb station

Zagreb Galerija NovaZagreb Galerija NovaZagreb, interview projection: Projection of a talk with Mihailo Dzokic, my father, participant of the 1948 working action at Brotherhood and Unity HighwayZagreb, interview projection: Projection of a talk with Mihailo Dzokic, my father, participant of the 1948 working action at Brotherhood and Unity HighwayZagreb imaginary routes: Marko Sancanin drawing possible Zagreb routesZagreb imaginary routes: Marko Sancanin drawing possible Zagreb routesZagreb, at Mama: Project discussionZagreb, at Mama: Project discussionOn Tuesday 02 August we met in Galerija Nova where Marko Sancanin from Platforma 9.81, architecture and media collective, spoke about beginning of construction of the Highway Brotherhood and Unity, technology used, working force... see video capture:

Metelkova - Mala Sola demolished!!!

LHE Mala Sola: Mala Sola demolished!LHE Mala Sola: Mala Sola demolished!On Monday evening, 31 July LHE was visiting Metelkova and had a presentation of the history of the initiative by Nicolai Jeffs. Today we heard that Mala Sola, the exact space where we were got DEMOLISHED today!

Metelkov needs letter of support!
Our letter of support will be used as a support statement for Metelkova City.

I need to get the letter of support, with individuals signing in, as well as School of Missing Studies, ELF and SKUC Gallery (they agree so you can put in the SKUC Gallery), by tomorrow Thursday.

Sorry for the rush & thanks.


On Monday, July 31, two days before demolition of the Mala Sola, the participants of the LHE Lost Highway Expedition were exactly there, at the location of the Mala Sola, to listen to the presentation by NiKolai Jeffs, one of the initiators of the Metelkova City, about the Metelkova City's past, present and the future. This was the highlight of what we understand is one of the most crucial bottom-up initiative of the citizens of Ljubljana since the Slovenian independence.

LJUBLJANA participants

30 July, following people joined LHE in Ljubljana at SKUC:

Ajdin Basic, Aleksander Perovic, Alenka Gragoric, Ana Dzokic, Apolonia Sustersic, Dzema Dunic, Dragan Zivadinov, Gediminas Gasparavicius, Goran Rakic, Anna Müller, Helena Drnovsek Zorko, Ivan Kucina, Jill Magid, Kasper Akhoj, Katherine Carl, Kyong Park, Marc Neelen, Maria Lind, Marjeta Lavric, Marjetica Potrc, Meg Rotzel, Misa de Jong Nemanic, Nathaniel Clark, Paola Velasquez, Pilar Ortiz, Primo, Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss, Stefan Pedersen, Stefanie Busch, Susanne Kass, Tea Rozman-Clark

Zagreb be prepared!
map - zapadni balkan: ljubljana meeting 30/07/06map - zapadni balkan: ljubljana meeting 30/07/06

"Skopje: The Heterotopia of Socialist Modernism" by Suzana Milevska

When I first read the phrase “the space of socialist modernism,” I could not but think that its oxymoronic structure is completely applicable for Skopje’s urban development. Skopje, similarly to Foucault’s renowned definition of the space of the mirror, is both utopic and heterotopic (i). It has been imagined as a fantasy, as a reflection of an ideal modernist beauty that in reality turned into a strange obscure beast.
Skopje’s centre has been developed from scratch after 1963, when it was in large extent destroyed by a catastrophic earthquake. The devastation led to an enthusiastic dream for rebuilding the city centre through an international contest. The Japanese modernist architect Kenzo Tange won the 1965 internationally UN-financed contest that was a result of the unprecedented world-wide solidarity. He thus designed the Master Plan for reconstruction of earthquake-stricken Skopje.

LHE reader ready!

LHe reader signaturesLHe reader signaturesLHE reader frontLHE reader frontToday in Ljubljana Lost Highway Expedition reader got launched - with texts on all the cities expedition is passing through and more. Thanks to all contributors, but especially SKUC - Alenka, Ministry - Helena and the designer - Ajdin! The readers will travel with us and you can get your copy in the city where you join in.

Founteinescort, site-specific and public interventions on and along the highway of ‘Brotherhood and Unity’

Our expedition in the Western Balkan is to reflect the highway as a dynamic metafor of the connections between the different cultures and surroundings, into artistic interventions on the route.

Fonteinescort will create visual, site-specific works, which reacts on the existing visual and present culture, on, at and along the highway through the Western Balkan.
This to create and execute ‘spontanious’ fountains on selected locations, where we concider these fluent and (sound)streaming relaxtion would be necessary or simply creates a connection between the fysic elements of the place.
This temporary fountains react on the direct surroundings, architecture and atmospheres.

Any suggestions of possible locations or techniques that suit this concept are welcome. Please comment this post.

The Expedition Launched in Ljubljana

skuc2skuc2skuc-01skuc-01Alenka Gregoric of SKUC Ljubljana launched the Lost Highway Expedition. Her introduction on the activites of SKUC and the city were followed by a welcome by Helena Drnovsek and a presentation Marjetica Potrc on Ljubljana's Autonomous Zones.

Watch video at:

See you at the End of the World [between Novi Sad and Belgrade]

At the "End of the World" II: Stop on Danube between Novi Sad and Belgrade.At the "End of the World" II: Stop on Danube between Novi Sad and Belgrade.for August 7, 2006; On the Danube, on the shores of Kovilj, 15 km off the highway Novi Sad - Belgrade there is a place called "At the End of the World".

Iz pamfleta kafane:
U koviljskom ritu je i nadaleko poznata čarda "Na kraj sveta" porodice Varenika. Riblja čorba iz kotlića, prženi som, dobro vino i sremački becarac. Ukoliko ste odvažni, možete unajmiti camac i upoznati koviljski rit. [SIC]

stealing your maps

I arrived in Belgrade early. Before the expedition officially begins I began my own.

While living in Amsterdam these past five years, I became close with a few wonderful people coming from various areas of the Balkans. I often got mixed up, much to the faux(?)-frustration of these friends,
as to who comes from Serbia or from Bosnia or from Croatia. They always corrected me, then chalked it up to me being American.

Now that I am here I begin to understand. The images that I've constructed of these cities- based on their stories and habits (and much less so by what I saw on TV) are quickly being eclipsed by what i physically observe before me. These friends-and now their friends, continue to act as my lenses. I view the city they show me- visiting their bar boats ("splav") on the river, drinking wild pear rakije, holding up the florescent tubes of tesla's museum as the little lightnings jump off the copper display, or sleeping in my friend's childhood bedroom in the hills of sarajevo.

Vladicin Han

Vladicin HanVladicin HanVladicin Han - highway viaduct plan: plan by Suzana Stankovic - AleksicVladicin Han - highway viaduct plan: plan by Suzana Stankovic - AleksicOn the way from Belgrade to Skopje the highway is passing through town of Vladicin Han. This is not just a hometown of many famous Gypsy brass bands, like Boban Markovic (ć and
Vladicin Han is also the only place, after Belgrade that is 'cut' by the highway passing through its core. For those interested to see recent urban master plan and hear more about the town, landscape architect and urban designer Suzana Stankovic - Aleksic (living between Amsterdam and Vladicin Han), will be ready to tell us more on 10 August from 16-17h! If you want to take part, please sign by posting a comment.

Belgrade in Transition

Trg Slavija, Belgrade: A round about of architectural chaos, spanning from Habsburg, to hi-modern, to post-YU, and probably almost everything in between. Pic by Kyong, July 2006Trg Slavija, Belgrade: A round about of architectural chaos, spanning from Habsburg, to hi-modern, to post-YU, and probably almost everything in between. Pic by Kyong, July 2006

Belgrade will not presently attract ones attention owing to the quality of its urban development or of its new architecture; rather more attractive would be research into the parameters and potentials of an advancing and comprehensive phenomenon: the weakening of civic institutions and the dominance of the private sector over the general interests of the public. What many planners fear for their cities elsewhere is already a firm reality in Belgrade.

Regardless of whether the origins stem from the unbridled expansion of a global free-market economy or the loss of authority of civic institutions, the process has led to disequilibrium between private and public needs. In Serbia, this imbalance manifests itself particularly clearly in the urban realm as well as within society itself; Serbian society is now characterised by an ambivalence to value systems, distrust and resignation, and in the urban realm by tension between planned and unplanned, controlled and arbitrary interventions into the existing built structure.


Highway-corridors-planHighway-corridors-planAutoput-planAutoput-planAs follows, a perhaps pertinent anecdote (I thought) from an extract taken from writer-reporter Michael Ignatieff’s book Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the new Nationalism

I began my journey [summer 1993] where it used to begin every summer of my Yugoslav childhood, on the highway between Zagreb and Belgrade. This was the highway we traveled, in a magnificent black Buick with lots of fins and chrome, to lake Bled in Slovenia. It was called the Highway of Brotherhood and Unity and it was built with a typically Titoist mixture of genuine national enthusiasm and socialist forced labor, to link together the economies of the two central republics, Croatia and Serbia. For 300 km it runs parallel to the River Sava, through the Slavonian plain, some of the flattest and richest farmland in Europe…

Wireless Internet Access in Ljubljana and Belgrade

I am sure, along with me, everyone wants to know this. Yes, according to the recent TV ad of, the interent is the most dangerous and baddest big brother so far. So here are where you can be hooked to your big brother.

Cafe/Bar called "BiKofi" has wireless. Its located at the very center of the city. Sorry I don't have address, but Ljubljana is a small place. Just ask

I think its just called BAR. Located at Kralja Petra 59. I checked it personally and its worked on 27.08. Its less than 50 meters from Hotel Royal, right at the very center of city, close to Kalemegdan [the former Habsburg/Ottoman fortress.


Metropolis magazine on LHE

KozaraKozaraBelow is the write-up from Metropolis July issue 2006.
"Informal networks are all the rage in certain antiestablishment architectural circles; loosely affiliated groups and individuals are seen as antidotes to out-of-control commercialism and nationalism. Later this summer you can join one such network, Europe Lost and Found, and witness its evolving "Lost Highway Expedition" in the Western Balkans (imagine The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test in various Slavic languages and degrees of broken English). Whether or not these networks have real impact is an open question, but being guided through former Yugoslavia by expatriate Serbian architects and members of the local counterculture s

Constitution Vukraj - translation

Constitution Vukraj, DragacevoConstitution Vukraj, DragacevoHere is a translation of previously posted Constitution, made more than 50 years ago by my grandmother. By Ana Dzokic (

In the dukedom of Vukraj (Wolf’s Paradise), duke is elected by citizens.
Anthem of the dukedom is changed as soon as it becomes boring.
Greeting of the dukedom is: uhu-u-u.
Holidays of the dukedom: 7.8. and invented birthdays.
It is forbidden to ask: which date, day or hour it is.
At the dining table is forbidden to say ‘enough’ than follows even more food.
Fish is not to be caught by explosive but buy a fork.
In the dukedom, ‘vu’ evaporates and only ‘tu’ stays.
Addressing is only by name.
Every citizen will get a nickname.

Zagreb - pozivnica/invitation

Zagreb invitation: Invitation for LHE in Zagreb on 2 and 3 August. Image, construction of the highway of Brotherhood and Unity. By Marko Sancanin.Zagreb invitation: Invitation for LHE in Zagreb on 2 and 3 August. Image, construction of the highway of Brotherhood and Unity. By Marko Sancanin.
krdo poludjelih arhitekata, kulturnih aktivista i umjetnika iz Europe, krece iz Ljubljane autoputem "Bratstva i jedinstva" da bi se 02 i 03 zadrzali u Zagrebu, razgovarali o zagrebackom urbanizmu, neovisnoj kulturi i prije svega o autoputevima. Ova fascinacija autoputevima samo je paravan da se dobro zabavlja, putuje i upoznaju ljudi i gradovi duz spomenutog autoputa.
Premda je ovogodisnja faza Projekta "Lost Highway Expedition" pod utjecajem ljeta pribjegla neformalnom druzenju, razgovorima i prezentacija, naredna faza uslijedit ce ubrzo potom i bavit ce se urbanim istrazivanjem i kulturalnim studijama te svim drugim aktivnosti koje ce proizaci iz upoznavanja ljudi i mjesta tijekom puta.

Balkan Biblioteque Mobile

Balkan Biblioteque Mobile
will be on the road joining the Lost Highway Expedition

It will be bringing the books from other countries to exchange them during the Expedition with elementary school text books on history, geography and language from local regions

Locals and visitors will be invited to bring used books from elementary schools (if they are in possession of any) exchange them with another books, join the readings and recomposing the Elementary Knowledge on Western Balkans.

Look for more information on Elementary Balkans on:

If you have an elementary school text book that you would like to exchange (with offered books from Balkan Biblioteque Mobil), read it or compile your own Elementary Balkans text book please contact: