INTERVIEW WITH BOŽANA KOMLJENOVIĆ – POLITIKA

Architect Božana Komljenović, of the Zaha Hadid architecture studio in London, will be among the guest lecturers at the Belgrade Design Week 2011.

Even though there is still plenty of time, the sixth Belgrade Design Week has already been carefully planned. This year, it will be linked to the Belgrade 2020 project, which focuses on the candidacy for the European Capital of Culture.Belgrade and Serbia will best be promoted through the international three-day educational conference entitled Future2, the main event at the Design Week, where the best known creative individuals of the 21st century will deliver lectures and present their work.

It is with great pleasure that I accepted the invitation to participate in the creative workshop of Belgrade Design Week and talk on the subject: Future2. In Serbia, it provides a platform for exchanging ideas, creating discourse and interaction of creative industries in the country. Abroad, BDW is an important ambassador to Belgrade and Serbia, a dynamic brand that manages to make a positive change in the perception of Serbia, after years of notoriety, generated by the media – said Božana.

Božana Komljenović was born in Belgrade. She studied architecture in Belgrade and London. She is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, a guest lecturer at the London School of Economics, the Architectural Association and the Belgrade Faculty of Architecture. After working for ten years at the Walters and Cohen studio in London, she is currently one of the leading architects at the famous Zaha Hadid architecture studio.

I have the good fortune to be engaged in almost all aspects of the profession in different contexts and on almost every continent. I am doing my best to resist specialization in a particular form or cultural environment, because this way I am forced to remain constantly alert, and to approach each new project with no preconceived notions. Despite the fact that our architecture firm is currently one of the most productive in the world, it maintained its initial working method, as a design studio, regardless of the size of the projects. Its work is based on experiment and testing of new ideas. Each new project represents a new possibility for pushing the boundaries of what is current and relevant in the field of architecture. That is why the majority of the challenges we face in our projects is in fact, the absence of precedents.

Božana is currently working on developing a concept for a cultural complex in California. She points out that her favorite project is always the current one.

The severity of the economic crisis has almost “devoured” the architecture of the Americas. Therefore, for non-American architects it is a great challenge to obtain and justify the trust given, especially while working on a state-funded project. I am also very fond of the urban planning project for one area of Istanbul, called Kartal Pendik.

The project has been ongoing for three years now and is one of the largest projects of its kind in the world. In the field of architecture it is essential to have a “good eye”. However, architecture is a very complex and multi-layered discipline and it takes years of experience to achieve confidence both in terms of creativity and throughout the practical, construction process. Also, the practice is the best way to test ideas. In that sense, it is not difficult to come up with something. It’s hard to stay relevant.

Although she has been living in London for a long time, she often visits Belgrade. In her opinion Serbia has many talented artists.

There is a lot of talent and potential in Serbia, especially among young people. The future will determine the opportunities for the fulfillment
of that potential. Unfortunately, times are tough, and turning ideas into reality is a slow process, but on the other hand, this is the right time for the accumulation of creative ideas, said Božana Komljenović.

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