First Think Space Unconference 'Beyond the Borders'
18 - 20 November 2011, Zagreb

The final event of the Think Space programme - Unconference 'Beyond the Borders' started this morning at Lauba. The official opening ceremony started at 1 p.m.  moderated by Dražen Ilinčić. The participants and guests of the Unconference were greated by the Zagreb Society of Architecs president Damir Ljutić who is also the Chairman of the Think Space programme, Vanja Žanko, the curator of Lauba, Krešimir Galović representing the Ministry of Culture and Jadranka Veselić Bruvo representing the City of Zagreb. Ana Dana Beroš presented the Think Space programme and Vesna Vrga Perović gave a short preview of the Unconference schedule. 

After the introduction speeches, our dear guest, curator Eva Franch i Gilabert gave a dinamic and inspiring presentation of  the annual theme. Eva was the first to cross a border, the one  between the speaker and the audience, by sitting among the guests. She talked about her impressions of the whole programme and  the 4 different competitions and the questions they opened. 

In the second part of the first day, the participants had a chance to get to know each other better through Think Space conversations in the form of World cafe, discussing in groups.

The topics of the discussion were given by the moderators: personal borders through restrictions in professional and everyday life, and positive experience in rethinking space beyond borders. The participants switched groups as the questions changed, and they summed up their discussions in one sentence after each rotation. 

The sentences written on paper were in the end put on a pile on the floor and all the participants moved them around finding the junction between them. The final results were quite funny and interesting.

In the evening we moved to DAZ (Zagreb Society of Architects) for the party, where the atmosphere reached  its high point. People were able to enjoy the unformal ambient and get to know wach other. Food, drinks, DJ and a lot of party people promised the good ending of the first day of the Think Space Unconference. 

Second day started a bit later due to yesterday's party. Francois Roche opened the day with his lecture which ended up hipnotizing the audience (literally). After him the lovely brothers Iniesta who won the 3rd prize on Urban borders gave a presentation of their work and way of thinking about architecture. 

Next on schedule were the Open sessions, a concept by which the participants create their own event for the afternoon by proposing discussion topics and inviting other participants to join them in discussion. Participants proposed 10 topics that were discussed in 3 sessions. The first session opened Tea Horvat with the topic on Baukultur. They discussed the roll of architect in a society, acceptence of responsibilitiy and multidisciplinary architecture.

After the lunch break we continued with Open Space conversations with five new topics:
Kristina Škrokov: Music and Architecture
Ati Salvaro: Artists or Engineers
Maša Ogrin: Space (in) motion
Nikola Kukić: Future Environment
Dimopoulos Thymios: Building Communities

Sometimes Unconference conversation can also break the border so participants are encouraged to move and change location where they want, for instance in a bar or outside on the parking lot.

In the same time, Laubica and children workshop was going  on in Lauba. Kids were playing, talking and exploring their borders.

After the very successfull Open Space sessions we had Shohei Shigematsu and Teddy Cruz joing us via video conference. They both gave us their thoughts on their theme, Urban and Geopolitical Borders, and the awarded entries. The winners of the competitions got the chance to pose questions to their jurors.

Afterwards Kristina Lenard made a short presentation of her Think Space site-specific installation. She also showed us her first piece exibited in the Lauba and a short making-of video for this site-specific installation.

At the closing of the second day we had the award ceremony and opening of the exibiton of the awarded projects. Eva, Francois and Hrvoje handed the awards to the winners, and Kata Marunica and Damir Ljutić from Think Space team handed the thank-you-notes to the Curator and jurors. Winning authors gave a quick presentation of their projects and afterwards the exibition was opened. After the formal part of the evening, we moved to the table with food and drinks. DJ Phillipe and VJ Liik are providing a good atmosfere to to whole event.

We started our last day with a presentation by Hrvoje Njirić, the juror of Moral borders. He talked about his expectations from the competition and compared them to the actual results. The theme of the gypsy culture and architectural interventions in gypsy settlements turned out to be very interesting to everyone. Hrvoje showed us his two projects: the workshop in Macedonia and his competiiton entry for the cultural centre in Kozari bok in Zagreb. The awarded authors joined the conversation and the presentation became a nice talk and discussion of everyone present.

At the very end of this unusual unconference, we invited are dear guests to share with us their impressions of the whole event and join us in the next Think Space cycle. We had pleasent three days in Lauba, we shared some thoughts on architecture and all kinds of borders.We would like to thank to all the participants, all those lovely people who gave their energy and soul, all those who contributed to the Think Space programme. We hope to see you all here again next year!

Photo Gallery from the Unconference


Following the four rounds of the competitions the final event will be organized with an award ceremony and exhibition of projects submitted during the architectural competitions in the Think Space Program.
Conceived as a series of highly interactive sessions for 300 participants who will lively discuss the question topics from the competition, the final event is planned in the form of the unconference.
The first Think Space Unconference will enable participants and winners from the four international competitions to meet in Zagreb together with world famous architects, the guest curator and the jurors of the competitions. They will jointly explore the themes in personal and group encounters, which were the challenges of the each single competition.
The unconference entitled Beyond the Borders is planned as the crowning of the entire cycle, which also emphasizes and empowers the impact of conceptual architectural competitions and allows for high visibility of the participants, winners, guest curator and jurors, supporting organizations and sponsors. On the other hand, the event itself draws program strength from the competitions and being announced and promoted through the competitions attracts numerous of interested participants.
The Think Space Unconference serves both as a platform for experimentation and exchange of ideas and as a physical space / place where network of progressive thinkers beyond cultural, geographic or institutional borders gather together.
At the end of the cycle an annual publication will integrate the competitions’ results and the discussions and conclusions from the unconference. At the closing ceremony the theme for the next year cycle and four new conceptual competitions will be announced.
This program has attracted so far (although only at the beginning) considerable interest in the world's architectural community. Urban, Geopolitical and Ecological Borders have attracted more than 400 registered participants, mostly architect and urban planners of younger generation and 1200 projects from 35 countries have been submitted and evaluated. We expect further development by the end of 2011.


An unconference is a conference where the content of the sessions is driven and created by the participants, generally day-by-day during the course of the event, rather than by a single organizer, or small group of organizers, in advance. Unconferences came from the realization that "the sum of the expertise of the people in the audience is greater than the sum of expertise of the people on stage" (Source: Dave Winer).
It favors discussion and interaction over talking head presentations. Only 25% of the programme will be covered by key note speakers and guest presentations. Beyond the Borders unconference starts with the annual theme, the competitions’ topic and some basic questions attendees can expect to be addressed. From there, unconference moderators bring together a group of participants who are interested and passionate about that topic. Then, on the first day of the conference, these participants build the conference’s agenda and act as its speakers and session leaders.
In short, any registered participant at the unconference can lead a session. This way the unconference sessions grow directly from the expertise and passions of those participating. The lack of a preset agenda allows attendees to shape the event to their interests and engage up in the conversations about the things they care about around the main theme.
Beyond the Borders unconference is a forum to talk to peers, learn new things, and build new collaborative networks that will send the participants back to their practices energized and ready to re-think the space.


Beyond the Borders unconference will aim primarily for architects and students of architecture, but others in similar professions like design, landscape architecture, arts and humanities all around the world are encouraged to participate. In particular, the participants of the competitions will have the chance to meet in person the guest curator and the jurors of the competitions as well as other participants who were challenged by the same jurors’ questions. This will be the real exchange of the ideas beyond the virtual one that took place throughout the year.


Fee includes participation in unconference sessions, conference materials, all lunches, coffee breaks, refreshments and dinners.
Early registration (before 06.11.2011)
130 € - corporate, institutions
100 € – individuals
Late registration (after 06.11.2011)
200 € - corporate, institutions
150 € – individuals
20% discount for 2 or more from the same organization, students, free lancers and unemployed...
If the participation fee is not affordable to you, please contact

Think Space Team - we work with the principle "offer and contribute what you can "!