IMAGES Journal for Visual Studies

projects: Visual Culture and New Media

Design and New Media – the Croatian Context

By Ivica Mitrović

It is the intention of this text to discuss the new media in the context of Croatian design practices. The primary goal of the paper is not to give a chronological overview of the history of the design work, but rather, through examples of selected projects, shed light onto this specific design practice (the design of interactive digital media and the design of interaction).

In line with the multidisciplinary quality of this project, the analysis will be undertaken from the position of the modern-day design practice as regarding digital media and technology, with a specific review of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Human Computer Interaction (HCI). The Croatian design practice will thus be more clearly profiled against the backdrop of the Croatian new media space.

Special attention will be given to the design of interaction, which in its multidisciplinarity and the specificity of team work presents the most radical example of the modern-day design practice as related to interactive digital technologies. The design of interaction is necessarily linked to the field of digital media, concerning not only the product itself, but also the design of the way in which the users will interact. This is a pronouncedly multidisciplinary area, that, in addition to several specialized fields of design (graphic design, product design, interface design), includes knowledge from the fields of psychology (cognitive models, user testing), sociology (society), communicology (communication models), anthropology, computing, telecommunications and electrical engineering (technology), architecture (space), art and others more.

One of the objectives of this research is also the acquaintance with the numerous terminological novelties and irregularities which appear in the Croatian practice in this dynamic and complex area of design. Terminology, for example, such as interaction design, interactive design, design in the electronic media, design of interactive digital media, etc. We will aim here to appropriately define and clarify all fundamental terms of the field. The selected projects will also be interpreted according to this defined terminology.

The projects this research will focus on include websites ranging from early HTML works created in the mid-nineteen nineties, such as the website of magazine Arkzin (Blaženko Karešin, 1995); via works from the beginnings of the twenty first century such as (2001); and flash sites from the mid-two thousands (, 2003); to recent examples of the integration of technologies (, 2007). In addition to websites, selected projects will include computer applications (mailcircles, Lina Kovačević, 2004), robotics (Raymond – the Lego Robot Designer, Lina Kovačević, 2004 ) and interactive installations (Let's Go, Split!, Convivo Summer School, 2004).

Research Summaries

Marina Kožul / Mirna Belina
Animation Techniques as a New Medium

Mirela Ramljak Purgar
Digital Photography as a New Medium

Tomislav Medak / Nenad Romić
The Political Right and Tactical Media

Ivica Mitrović
Design and New Media - the Croatian Context

Katarina Peović Vuković
New Media Genres and Their Reception

Klaudio Štefančić
New Media, Old Culture Forms