Written by Saša Randić
From its beginnings, Čovjek i prostor (Man and Space) magazine has directly depended on the enthusiasm of the people around the editorial board. In the past, this relation was manifested in different forms, reaching from less happy periods when the editorial board prepared, printed and sold the magazine all by itself to more stable periods when the magazine, i.e. the Association counted on the strong support of institutions also linked with its members.
The beginning of the new century was marked as the magazine's stablest period. The foundation of the Chamber has not, like in other countries of the “New Europe“, marked the disappearance of the Association, but has done just the opposite. ČIP was regarded as the official organ of all architects, so that it was only natural for the Chamber to support ČIP through the subscription for its members.
Times change and with them the concept of professional solidarity, so that a moment came when by the beginning of 2008 the Chamber gave up the subscription to the magazine. Many who participated in keeping ČIP alive exprienced that moment as dramatic, as the end of an era in which architectural institutions by their nature tend to preserve their magazine. ČIP suddenly faced a radically different situation and the rather urgent question of survival, at the moment when the entire print-based journalism faces the same challenges on a bigger scale.
The experience of the last year, when ČIP retained the same print run figures without financial support, confirmed two things.
Firstly, that in Croatia there is enough interest for a magazine critically concerned with architectural and city-planning issues to keep the magazine running in market-based circumstances. Applied to production, this position of course means a higher professional and engagement level, but the basic concept of the magazine remained the same: ĆIP does not exist to bring profit, but to publish articles on current topics and good architecture.
Secondly, the ČIP experience has confirmed that non-profit publishing is not the return of the socialist utopia, but part of the contemporary media mosaic. Independent publishing is not reduced just to blog space, but also encompasses the growing number of new printed magazines (A 10, Volume) that primaily exist as a platform for the presentation of their personal opinions, i.e. a different presentation of architecture. ČIP has, among others, confirmed that printed media have not lost thier purpose and that the public have not lost their interest in them.