Tea party with Ildiko Erdei: The role of design in the modernization of socialist Yugoslavia

The starting point of the lecture “Good design for a better society: the aestheticization of everyday life in socialist Yugoslavia” by Ildiko Erdei is a reflection on what constituted good design and what was its role in the society of the 1950s in Yugoslavia.

The new socialist state was not an exception in this regard, but was integrated into the modernization trends and modernist currents in Europe and the world. On the example of housing, furnishing and decorating an apartment, the arrangement will show how the concept of good design was conceived and set up as a tool for (socialist) modernization of society and how it was reflected in the daily life of Yugoslavs.

The design of apartments in the “new spirit” took place under the auspices of the modernist utopia of socialism; on the other hand, from the research into the daily practices of using those apartments, one can read real movements and tendencies in society, from social stratification to the formation of class tastes and patterns of consumption, and the advancing privatization of everyday life.

Ildiko Erdei is a full-time professor at the Department of Ethnology and Anthropology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade. She received her doctorate in the anthropology of consumption, and her areas of interest are studies of material culture and consumption, media and new information and communication technologies, contemporary political rituals, cultural economy in socialism and post-socialism. She is the author of several books and works in domestic and foreign publications and magazines.

The lecture is part of the Regional Tea party titled “Yugoslavia” which is organized together with the Institute of Social Sciences (IDN). It takes place on 3 July at 12 pm in the Main hall of the IDN, Kraljice Natalije 45, Belgrade, can also be followed online and will be moderated by Irena Ristić (IDN).



You can follow the lecture online via the link:


Meeting ID: 959 1502 1489
Passcode: 473414