'Kiosk: The Last Modernist Booths' book chronicles a little-known area of Eastern Bloc architecture

Zupagrafika brings Kiosk design, a forgotten slice of socialist architecture history, to life with this collection of modular, modernist booths

a kiosk, UFO, a two-module 'Bathyscaphe' in Biała Podlaska, Poland
KIOSK: The Last Modernist Booths Across Central and Eastern Europe
(Image credit: David Navarro & Martyna Sobecka (Zupagrafika))

This new book about kiosk design exemplifies how the internet transformed interest in ultra-niche aspects of contemporary design into moderate-sized cults. In the hands of a skilled photographer, fading styles, forgotten movements and long-overlooked designers can all be given a second wind in the digital era. Perversely, this has also led to a modest but significant uptick in design publishing, as the market for this kind of imagery becomes algorithmically assisted.

UFO, a two-module 'Bathyscaphe' in Biała Podlaska, Poland

UFO, a two-module 'Bathyscaphe' in Biała Podlaska, Poland

(Image credit: David Navarro & Martyna Sobecka (Zupagrafika))

Delve into modernist kiosk design

This book features the photography of David Navarro and Martyna Sobecka, founders of Zupagrafika, a specialist publisher and design studio founded in 2012. Zupagrafika, based in Poznań, Poland, was set up to celebrate ‘modernist and brutalist architecture, design and photography in a unique and playful way,’ and has built up a broad portfolio of books and other media (like their ‘brutal kits’).

Seven-module K67 awaiting renovation in Novo Mesto, Slovenia

Seven-module K67 awaiting renovation in Novo Mesto, Slovenia

(Image credit: David Navarro & Martyna Sobecka (Zupagrafika))

KIOSK is Navarro and Sobecka’s latest publication, a photographic catalogue of 150 modular kiosk structures that remain scattered across the former Eastern Bloc. These brightly coloured, factory-built kiosks had a wide range of uses, from town centre stores to market stalls, security posts and even beach shelters.

An abandoned K67, element A, in Pula, Croatia

An abandoned K67, element A, in Pula, Croatia

(Image credit: David Navarro & Martyna Sobecka (Zupagrafika))

The authors have hunted down over 150 survivors, many of which are still in daily use, while others await a revival in their fortunes. Modular designs, like Slovenian architect Saša J. Mächtig’s K67 system and its various equivalents in Poland, Macedonia, Russia and elsewhere, are featured in all their faded glory, many still serving up food and newspapers, or simply providing a place to get out of the weather.

KC190 kiosk originally manufactured in Macedonia, here in Kragujevac, Serbia

KC190 kiosk originally manufactured in Macedonia, here in Kragujevac, Serbia

(Image credit: David Navarro & Martyna Sobecka (Zupagrafika))

Gathered over a decade of wandering through Central and Eastern Europe, these modest pieces of modernist architecture are a vivid slice of socialist design history.

A popular bakery in Belgrade, Serbia, in a double-module K67

A popular bakery in Belgrade, Serbia, in a double-module K67

(Image credit: David Navarro & Martyna Sobecka (Zupagrafika))

KIOSK: The Last Modernist Booths Across Central and Eastern Europe

KIOSK: The Last Modernist Booths Across Central and Eastern Europe

(Image credit: David Navarro & Martyna Sobecka (Zupagrafika))

Ewa sells fresh farm eggs in this K67 booth in Świdnica, Poland

Ewa sells fresh farm eggs in this K67 booth in Świdnica, Poland

(Image credit: David Navarro & Martyna Sobecka (Zupagrafika))

'KIOSK: The Last Modernist Booths Across Central and Eastern Europe', Zupagrakia, 26 euros,

Zupagrafika.com

Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.