#6: Arna Mačkić

In this episode architect, designer and researcher Arna Mačkić gives an insight in her personal history, coming from Bosnia to the Netherlands as refugee, and how this ‘journey’ influenced her professional development. Architecture and city planning often ignore the history of a specific city or site, or only communicate a certain aspect of it. In her work she wants to raise awareness for the complete story. Therefore she researches hidden or forgotten facts and rituals, and other sociological conditions. By implementing them in her work the history of the specific location becomes a fruitful tool for the future.

Within the field of architecture, Arna Mačkić (27) deals with different scale levels and societal issues in which she tries to connect past, present and future. One example is her design based research and book ‘Mortal Cities & Forgotten Monuments’, winner of a Dutch Design Award in 2015 and voted Best Dutch Book Design 2014. Her research shows new ways to deal with (destroyed and/ or vacant) cultural heritage, taking the city of Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina as a case study. This theme is a challenge that our society on a global level is facing today. Arna’s aim is to find new ways of shaping identity in an open way and to open up sensitive national history to discussion. In addition to this Arna has been intensively involved in many projects at RAAAF [Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances] since 2009, and has also been collaborating with designer Lorien Beijaert for the realization of other design projects, among which the exhibition design in 2014 for the art fair Unfair Amsterdam and the exhibition design for Nice ‘n Light at the Centraal Museum Utrecht in 2015.


Destruction of the Old Bridge in Mostar, November 9, 1993.


The ruin of the Old Glass Bank Building in Mostar, 2013


The thousands of scars from grenade shells and bullet holes are visible in the many ruins still standing in Mostar.


Exhibition design for the art fair Unfair Amsterdam, in collaboration with Lorien Beijaert


Exhibition design for the exhibition Nice ’n light in Centraal Museum Utrecht, in collaboration with Lorien Beijaert


Exhibition design for the exhibition Nice ’n light in Centraal Museum Utrecht, in collaboration with Lorien Beijaert


Mortal Cities & Forgotten Monuments


Warrior‘s Mausoleum in Serbia designed by Bogdan Bogdanović


Battle of Sutjeska memorial in Tjentište designed by Miodrag Živković


Partisan Necropolis in Mostar, designed by Bogdan Bogdanović


Monuments as public spaces, where people hiked, sat down, and could spend their leisure time.


The Old Bridge from 1992-2013


Diving off the Old Bridge in Mostar is a tradition that has its origin in the very structure of the city


Design intervention: a building with diving as its function and as an open public space