Student Work

  • Design Studies (MA)

    Dora Sapunar

    Consuming Socialism: Mid-Century Modernist Interiors in the Former Yugoslavia

    "Consuming Socialism" analyzes the role of the domestic interior as a contested space during socialism by examining the interior as an important arbiter of identity in socialist Yugoslavia in the 1950s and 1960s. 

    To understand the role interiors played and how ideas of appropriate interiors were disseminated, the thesis analyzes popular media and fairs dedicated to interiors that took place in Yugoslavia. The media at the time, in part through its association with the government, attempted to educate and prescribe a new articulation of the interior as an expression of a new way of living. Immediate gratification of consumer desires was not possible due to many economic and political factors; however, the media and fairs offered visual stimulation, consumerism as spectacle, meant to be experienced vicariously through representation, rather than experienced through immediate physical acquisition. In my thesis I analyze the idea of family that was constructed and promoted through Yugoslavian media and how interior fairs were normative in their aim to establish canons of taste regarding interiors and prescriptive in terms of what the public should consume.