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Architecture is a performance

Dina Krunic is from “everywhere and nowhere.” The Belgrade-born architect is ordinarily based in Los Angeles, but has recently been enjoying a brief stay in Auckland as a guest lecturer at Unitec. Her internationally oriented lifestyle seems to parallel her research interests in the field of architecture and digital technologies. 'Network culture', 'global world', 'temporality' and 'impermanence' are some of the descriptors used to explain her unorthodox approach to architecture.

Her philosophy is simple, or so it seems: to construct the intellectual shift for our century were the synthetic would extend the limitations of the organic. 

“For me, architecture is not a static form. It is more a lens, a medium through which to look towards the future,” she says, explaining her experimental practice that playfully hovers above architecture, digital art and computational processes. 

Her trans-disciplinary laboratory, StudioDiNA, was founded in 2004 and expands our minds through digital technologies, exhibitions, installations and art projects. 

“The content of my work concentrates on the explorations of new technologies in the design field and their applications into the real world. Our design philosophy is deeply imbedded in phenomenological approach and process making research of appropriating new technology into built architecture.” 

Her current research attempts to structure the theoretical framework for algorithmic architectures, which would integrate performance of the human body into the discipline of the built form. 

“The contemporary body is not a static body. We are raised in cars — we spend years of our life in transit. Our perception of the static moment is through sequential experiences. Why should we think of architecture in any other way?” 

Raised in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Krunic received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arkansas, and a Masters in Architecture and Urban Design from UCLA shortly after. She has taught architectural studies and theory seminars at Pratt Institute, UCLA, University of British Columbia, and the University of Belgrade. She has also lectured at architectural schools internationally. 

Her work on research projects at DR_D Office were exhibited at the Pompidou Center in Paris and the Architectural Biennale in Venice. Her independent work has been exhibited at the UIA Conference in Istanbul, Biennale in Beijing, Design Week in Belgrade, MARHI in Moscow and also in New York and Vancouver. She has also recently started curating architectural exhibitions in New York and Los Angeles. 

After years of practicing, exhibiting and teaching, she has moved her laboratory to Los Angeles to pursue her research at the University of California in Los Angeles where she is currently teaching and working towards her PhD in Architectural Theory. 

“You have to understand that digital technologies, computers, digital art and virtual reality were not developed out of thin air. They are a result of the conceptual change paralleling science and technolies’ move away from a static, local, and permanent society towards a transient, dynamic, and temporary condition of the human body in the post-WWII world, when the network society was invented.” 

As for her own future, the world is the stage, and the performance continues with the hopes that it will come back to Auckland soon.