Reinvigorating a faded nation: A project that reinvigorates the cultural identity of Macedonia through creating placemaking for displaced Macedonians worldwide

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Authors
Pljachkov, Dimitar
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Degree
Master of Architecture (Professional)
Grantor
Unitec, Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology
Date
2022
Supervisors
Budgett, Jeanette
Jadresin-Milic, Renata
Type
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
Strumica (North Macedonia)
North Macedonia
North Macedonian diaspora
cultural identity
public squares
farmers' markets
cultural centres
architecture and culture
Macedonians
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Citation
Pljachkov, D. (2022). Reinvigorating a faded nation: A project that reinvigorates the cultural identity of Macedonia through creating placemaking for displaced Macedonians worldwide (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec, Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology https://hdl.handle.net/10652/6065
Abstract
RESEARCH QUESTION How can a Macedonian food and culture facility create placemaking for displaced Macedonians worldwide, in the city of Strumica? ABSTRACT The North Macedonian cultural identity has suffered over the years with, rising poverty, political issues, government corruption, and the issue of diaspora. There is confusion over what the Macedonian identity is and this has become a major problem for the North Macedonian people, both living in the country, and for the ones who are scattered across the world. Today, there are more North Macedonians who live abroad than in North Macedonia. North Macedonian communities around the world are disconnected from their cultural heritage, traditions and country. The North Macedonian diaspora would benefit from being able to connect with where they come from and with each other. The issue of declining cultural identity is evident through many different aspects such as the recent name change of the country and the urban development project of Skopje 2014 – which falsely represents the authentic culture and people of North Macedonia and brings no value to the people, it is only a political movement. An identity of a culture is made of many different aspects such as architecture, art, music, traditions and religions – it is what makes a country unique. The role of the architecture in this project is to re-invigorate culture and promote connection and engagement, through placemaking in the city of Strumica, a city that is heavily affected by mass emigration. A dynamic and interactive program is proposed for locals and visitors to connect and engage through food and cooking together; and other activities such as folk dancing. The design proposal is a North Macedonian Food and Culture facility market in the city of Strumica for locals as well as displaced North Macedonians worldwide. This project aims to reignite the city of Strumica through architecture and attract visitors with performative activities, exhibitions, events and above all food. The project aims for authenticity, but this is seldom constructed by design. The design responds to the culture and history of the country as well as the lifestyle of the people. The design is deeply interlocked with the site context, culture and traditions of the North Macedonian people, this proposes a contemporary structure forming a place in the heart of Strumica, to benefit and positively impact both locals and visitors Site: Goce Delchev Sqaure, Strumica, North Macedonia.
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