Overview

Balkan Locus-Focus: long 20th century communication design histories

1st symposium on Balkan communication design histories
29-30 June 2012, Izmir, Turkey

The two-day Balkan Locus-Focus symposium intends to offer first insights on the yet silent and poorly recorded histories of communication design in the Balkan peninsula, focusing on the period from the late 19th century to the present. This is the first attempt to comprehensively map visual communication (in the areas of graphic design, advertising, typography, web design, media, and inclusive of non-commercial examples, private initiatives and state/civil service design) in the socio-political and mental territories of the region.

Consisting of heterogeneous cultural groups and diverse socio-economic structures, the Balkan region has had a turbulent history in the last century, marked by violent manifestations of ethnic conflict but also by regimes that fostered political integration. Its multiple design histories sometimes intersected, but often diverged to distinct national trajectories that looked for points of reference beyond the region’s geographical borders.

This call for participation asks for studies of communication design in the broader region of the Balkans/Southeastern Europe. The symposium is held at Izmir University of Economics, Turkey (Faculty of Fine Arts and Design, Visual Communication Design Department) in collaboration with Parsons, USA (School of Art and Design History and Theory).