After finding industry fair brochures and popular media from Communist Yugoslavia that depicted idealized modern interiors, Sapunar knew she’d found rich material to document the role of design in constructing national identity. She analyzed coordinated efforts to establish Yugoslavian national tastes through promotion of modern domestic design and representations of family life. Although many of the interiors shown were beyond the public’s reach, they nonetheless were effective propaganda for a government eager to promote what Sapunar calls “an alternative to the Soviet model of socialism.”
Sapunar studied art history and English at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and then chose Parsons for its reputation in design education. Reflecting on her education, Sapunar recalls that Professor Jilly Traganou was “incredibly helpful at every step” and provided invaluable assistance with “the less glamorous aspects of thesis writing.”
Sapunar has contributed to Metropolis and was an editorial assistant at Dwell. She has written on midcentury architects and designers and recently published “Spatial Reasoning: Gender History and Minimalist Spaces,” an article for A Women’s Thing magazine, at which she is a contributing editor. Sapunar also lectures part-time at Parsons.