Set-up and purpose
Studio Zona is a research and public history project initiated in 2016 by researchers in the History Department of the University of Bucharest and the Ion Mincu Architecture and Urban Planning University in Bucharest.
The research interests concern cultural and urban history, particularly that of Bucharest, and their entangled political and social aspects throughout the 20th century. Our approach develops from an analytical angle and parts with the often nostalgic view on the genealogy and analysis of the city as we know it today. We approach the progression of architecture and urbanism by looking at the criss-cross of memory, forgetting and representation. In an initial phase, we focused on the politics of habitation and the effects of its implementation. We looked at the evolution of the state allotments and politics of their design, the politics of expropriation between the wars and the nationalisation during state socialism, as incremental phases in the identity of the city today, but largely forgotten. We aim to expand this research towards the complex social and political contexts of urban life and identity in the last century and to understand the long-term dynamics which shape it today.
The mission of the association has always been the constant dialogue with the general public and we strive to broaden the contacts between the academy and informed urbanites. Consequently, between 2016 and 2019, we shared more than 10000 information leaflets concerning the state-driven allotments designed between 1893 and 1948 and organised workshops, exhibitions, book launches and conferences on these broader topics.