Emil Jurcan is the only architect on Croatian scene who is simultaneously active in the fields of theory, practice, activism, politics of architecture and publishing. He has recently realized several acclaimed architectural projects, primarily in the field of architectural heritage renovation. He was also the director of the Croatian Architects’ Association, curated the Zagreb Salon manifestation, and founded Pulska grupa, architectural and activist organization that presented Croatia at the Venice Biennale of Architecture. Jurcan is the founder of the Dobrolet publishing house, Praksa cooperative and an artist. His restless and responsible interrogation constantly questions the sense of contemporary architectural activity and its political, professional and civic morality.
Oris: Where does this need for such a polyvalent activity stem from?
Emil Jurcan: I believe that the focus is always on architecture – it is what interests me and through dealing with architecture I realize that some of its segments are problematic, that it lacks something or that some inputs should come from other fields such as activism, social engagement, theory, music…For instance, I love philosophy but am aware that I will never engage with it professionally, nor would I want to. I prefer focusing on architecture while tackling other issues, marginal in relation to architecture.