The UC San Diego Department of Visual Arts and Center for Urban Ecology

present the lecture

Holidays After the Fall: History and Transformation of Seaside Paradise in Bulgaria and Croatia


Michael Zinganel

architecture theorist, cultural historian, curator and artist

Friday, 7 March, 3:30pm

Structural and Materials Engineering Bldg Presentation Space #149
UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, California 92037

Every summer season, the sun-drenched coasts of Bulgaria and Croatia turn into densely inhabited, intensively exploited tourism industry hotspots. This lecture traces the various architectural and urban planning strategies pursued there since the mid 1950s, in order first to create then to further develop modern holiday destinations. It portrays (late-) modern tourism architecture and resorts of a remarkable quality and typological diversity, which have persisted both as a playground for the domestic labour force and as a viable product on the international market. Yet the lecture focuses above all on how, in the wake of political change and the privatization of business, individual resorts and outstanding buildings have been economically and physically restructured, in a myriad of ways, leaving a legacy of deserted ruins, cautious renovations, exorbitant conversions and on-going public protest.

Thanks to President Tito’s third way policy coastal tourism at the Croatian Adriatic coast was developed with huge financial and logistic support by the West. Therefore you can find strange joint ventures here, including the American Penthouse magazine. Several international planners had been involved in an extensive United Nations funded development program for the entire coastline of Yugoslavia, reflecting economic and planning doctrines of that period. After the collapse of tourism industry during war time from 1991 to 1995 and the delayed privatization process tourism industry got under control of a view powerful groups, families close to the former president, affluent Croats from the Diaspora who helped during war time, and Austrian financial companies, that had been commissioned to manage coupon privatisation.

Michael Zinganel lives and works as architecture theorist, cultural historian, curator and artist in Vienna. Exhibitions and projects include Real Crime: The productivity of Crime for Architecture and Urban Design, also his PhD dissertation published in fall 2003. With Peter Spillmann and Michael Hieslmair he worked on various aspects of urban and transnational mobility, mass tourism and migration, specializing in 3-dimensional network-installations exhibited e.g. at Shrinking Cities II GfzK Leipzig (2005), Open Cities, the 4th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (2009), and the European Capital of Culture, Ruhr.2010. He taught at various universities and academies, e.g. 2011/12 at the postgraduate academy of Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, before he co-founded the independent research institute Tracing Spaces, based in Vienna. Currently he is a Research associate at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.

The Center for Urban Ecologies (CUE) located at the SME Building, 402 and 404 seeks critical intersections across environmental, territorial and geo-political spatial conditions, form global trans-border zones to regional and local sectors of conflict in the contemporary city. CUE engages a two-prong research project, one towards Latin America and the other one towards Asia, from the scale of local marginal neighborhoods as sites of investigation. CUE has been creating bridges between scholarly research, top-down urban policies, and grass roots social organization, bringing together studies and works from the fields of architecture and urbanism, environment and social practice.

Lead Faculty:

Teddy Cruz, Professor

Kyong Dong Park, Professor


For more Information about the book, Holiday after the Fall – Seaside Architecture and Urbanism in Bulgaria and Croatia, co-edited with Elke Beyer and Anke Hagemann (Berlin: jovis 2013):

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