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CTRL+Z – a design exhibition gallery in the heart of Split

Split Tech City

Split Tech City


Lately, the design scene in Split is blooming and one of the most interesting places to visit is surely CTRL+Z, an exhibition gallery located in the city center.

Gallery space is nested inside the Visual Communication Department (DVK) within the Arts Academy building, where students regularly attend lectures and practice directly next to exhibitions, and visitors of the Gallery have the opportunity to experience not only exhibitions but also the dynamics and atmosphere of the daily student program.

Learning and sharing design practice

To share with you what CTRL+Z means to students and professors of DVK, as well as designers in general in Split, I spoke with the head of the Gallery, Jelena Zanchi Ph.D., an architect employed at the Department.

“The main goal of CTRL+Z is to provide the audience with a clearer and more comprehensive perception of the design profession and its potential.

Very often, the exhibitions were part of wider cultural events (workshops, festivals, competitions, lectures by visiting professors, etc) that would take place at the Department of Design.” – states professor Zanchi who also points out that Gallery was not intended to be only an exhibition venue, but rather a platform for culture relating to the design industry.

Another distinctive feature of CTRL+Z lies in the organization and conceptual aspect of exhibitions. Whenever possible, according to professor Zanchi, attention is paid to the methodology of work and the processes that lead to the final look. That didactic component is crucial for the students and also extremely beneficial to the wider audience.

Gallery’s first year & Annual program

Last year, CTRL+Z was formally opened to the public. In the first year of the gallery’s activities, the annual exhibition plan framework has been structured around the works of DVK students.

There were also a few collaborations with external exhibitors and events closely related to visual communications design.

Ten exhibitions were held by the end of last year, and a similar number is scheduled for this year, explains professor Zanchi.

“On an annual basis, we reserved a solo exhibition date for one of our alumni, and in 2022 it was an exhibition by designer Ivan Milas. One term was made available to the Association of DVK students, so on that occasion, an exhibition of posters on the theme Space was realized. Some dates are related to standard events repeated yearly such as Science Festival and Researchers’ Night.”

Professor Zanchi explains that part of the program is scheduled for cultural activities initiated within the department, such as the exhibition of workshop Interactions 2022 and the exhibition of posters made for the competition Dante’s Verses. Last year, a selection of student works created through regular classes was displayed throughout two exhibitions – We are leaving and cARTography.

However, part of the program was not strictly defined, which allowed some space for guest exhibitions – Italian illustrator and architect Emilio Guazzone presented his graphic poem Dante’s Hell, and professor Funda Altin from Turkey presented the work of students from the University of Ordu.

Exhibitions 2023

This year gallery already had two exhibitions, Masks 20–23 and Hammer and Chisel – Basics of Letter Carving in Stone. Jelena Zanchi briefly discussed these exhibitions with me before announcing the upcoming events.

“The year 2023 began with the Masks 20-23 exhibition, displaying masks made in online classes during the pandemic under the guidance of professor Maris Cilić. Exhibition Masks was followed by Hammer and Chisel – Basics of Letter Carving in Stone exhibition that is open until April 4th.

Exhibited pieces were works of students who participated in the workshop led by a guest professor from the College of Design in Zagreb – a type designer Marko Hrastovec. This is the second year that this workshop has been organized in our department by the initiative of professor Nikola Đurek.”

At the end of our conversation, Jelena Zanchi announced two upcoming exhibitions.

“The following exhibition is Imagined Futures by artist and designer Darko Fritz. After that, there will be an exhibition of selected student works created under the mentorship of professor Ljubica Marčetić Marinović, who is a professor in our department”.

Judging by the program that CTRL+Z gallery offered in its first year and a half of work, it is likely to believe that we can expect many interesting and educative concepts in the following period.

Definitely looking forward to it!

Text by: Ivana Mikulić
Photos by: Visual Communication Department (DVK)


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