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Author: Trendafil Trendafilov



Let us try to recapitulate few review points on the development of management science in Bulgaria. The fact that it has been thoroughly ahistorical does not make us still irresponsible to overlook the importance of the issue and admit that management today in the 21st century is the development of Capitalism itself. Thus we discern for the particular development in this Balkan state two separate periods in disciplinary development:

First, the period between the World Wars and the grandeur of the Third Bulgarian Kingdom. This period has opted to enhance the narrative on the work of Trendafilov's brothers and their founding role in development of Engineering and Architecture science in Bulgaria. Since we continue to work on the problem, subsequently, some readiness have been acquired but still we are away from coherent representation of the true story. The official version for 50 years or so was that industrialization of Bulgaria started intensively after the years of WWII, while we deduct from our private research that the socialist period was definitely extensive — it totally depended on achievements from the previous capitalist period. The "sham" interpretation was corroborated by a total lack of archives, which was also wrong — recently we found valuable reprints from the "Journal of Engineering and Architecture" (or, "Spisanie na BIAD" with transliteration from bulgarian) coming out in the 1920s and 1930s and containing exhaustive description on projects and enterprises. Billions of golden bulgarian levs were spent to built an infrastructure that supported the Balkan state in the second half of the XX century.

Second, the period of the advancement of Socialism and separation of the Eastern block from true-time Europe — in our topical estimate, Bulgaria today is still lagging from the economic parameters of the 1940s. This ridiculous situation is overpowering since much of the capital investment programs are communicated via former communist companies under various "democratic" disguise. Bureaucracy is shattering and legislature is on last place from newly associated EU member states. If emergency measures are not taken to save the flunking system of Bulgaria, business risk is at odds to turn back the country in the realms of the Soviet Union. In technical terms, the pseudo-gurus of scientific management in Bulgaria have deterred for long time calling things with their real names. It was emblematic for the pre-transition period to name this discipline as "System Analysis" and to structure the whole organization in paradigms from the Cybernetics science. The misnomer continues at lesser extent in the 1990s, while efforts to depict some transitional patterns of management are approached with guidance and parsimony.

Third, in the socialist period nearly for 50 years there was a ban on the subject and that was sufficient time for a scientific discipline to develop an "atrophy". Meanwhile, western management thought was marking an accelerated "boom" and under the auspices of market economy developed a theory of its own. Socialist countries, on the other hand, were giving a stillbirth under one of the worst social experiments in the history of mankind. The word "management" or related terms were excluded from the technical dictionaries, whatsoever.

Fourth, nothing was left as a heritage from the period between the World Wars and whatever survived was buried under tones of criticism, nasty idiosyncrasy and political chauvinism. The few remaining "good books" and "worthy authors" stayed behind only as a memory.

We would like to revive in this review and commemorate two personalities, who deserve to be included in future reference materials. The brothers Trendafil Trendafilov and Vulko Trendafilov are names not mentioned a single time in any reference or otherwise citation source. This is an unworthy fate for people having to do with real history. Our efforts to find some actual data on the whereabouts of the two brothers after the socialist reconstruction of the Bulgarian state was painstaking and remained in vain. Probably, they were incriminated by the People's Court and sentenced to death. Otherwise, they would have been refugees from the country and found new place to live somewhere abroad. The history about them is blank.

The legacy of the two brothers is left in the form of several books. Immediately we wish to say, these are really good written stuff. We are far from being literature critiques and furthermore we are not a specialist in engineering — so that, a final authority will have to say a word. But it is evident that we have at hand documents of precious value and historical merit. These are the only books giving detailed picture of the development and circumstances of marketing management in Bulgaria for the period of the 1920s and 1930s of the past century. A wealth of documentary material with photographs and references are abundant in the monographs. Finally and most importantly, here we have an early written corpus on management principles belated in good style with concordance of the contemporary evolution of science and technology.

The first volume of the set is dated from 1929. The book is dedicated to American President Herbert Hoover — Republican, years in office 1929-1933. We are not historians and are not specialist in American history, neither. It is documented in the book, that Herbert Hoover was director of the "American Association for Scientific Advancement of Work" and presided the chair of "20th Century Fund" in Boston. As of this position, he was functionary for the internationalization of the Scientific Organization of Work and further was instrumental for the establishment of "Bureau of Labour" at the League of Nations. It has been our failure to establish any connection between President Herbert Hoover and Edgar J. Hoover (Director of Federal Bureau of Investigation).




The International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP) is a world-wide network of professional institutions and individuals of many signatures active in the broad fields of housing, urban development and planning. With a main focus on sustainable development, the Federation organises a wide range of activities and creates opportunities for the international exchange of knowledge and experience in these professional fields. By this exchange, its aim is to promote mutual learning and inspiration, and generate new ideas amongst professionals in order to equip them to find the best local solutions to the global challenges facing housing and planning today.

Among its activities, the most prominent event is the annual congress devoted to a topical theme, but they include also annual conferences, working parties, summer schools, student competitions and film & video competitions. The official languages used in IFHP are English, French and German.

IFHP was founded in 1913 by Ebenezer Howard. Howard was the father of the 'Garden City', a combined housing and planning concept designed to solve the problems of ever-expanding towns and cities and to create better living conditions for their inhabitants. The aim of the ‘Garden Cities and Town Planning Association’ - the name by which IFHP was originally known - was to promote the concept of housing and planning and to improve the general standard of the profession through the international exchange of knowledge and experience.

In the first 35 years of its existence, the IFHP succeeded in getting international cooperation in the profession off the ground in a troubled period of two world wars and deep economic depression. Since the end of the 1940’s, as the general climate of international cooperation evolved, the professional scope has widened to include a virtually unlimited range of housing and planning themes, and there has been an IFHP world congress virtually every year on a topical housing and planning theme.



Addendum: The short expose above was written several years ago. We have been working since then to enlarge and complement our private archive on any aspect of cultural and scientific life in Bulgaria — viable through the corrections of time and communist censure.

It appears that the Trendafilov's heritage is much larger than it appears on the surface — commensurably we could get hold of several other publications from the above mentioned period that have remained undocumented or unreferenced by scientific mentors from the socialist period. Thus Trendafil Trendafilov, a graduate from Turin Polytechnic and working long years as chief Architect and consulting Engineer at the Sofia Municipality, had authored several monographs on classical Industrial Engineering and Architecture. The books have appeared in a row as follows:

1. Home Dwellings and Urbanization.

2. Manual on Building Construction.

3. Architecture ~ introduction textbook.

4. Modern Town Planning.

5. Numerous publications in the journal of BIAD (or "Bulgarian Engineering-Architectural Association", transliteration from bulgarian).


Picture 1: Sample illustration on the text above.

(i). This photograph was found in Trendafil Trendafilov's archive. It presents the author — not seen in the rear rows — as participant at the Vienna Congress of the "International Federation for Housing and Town Planning" (1926). President of the Congress is Sir Ebenezer Howard.



Copyright © 2005, 2009 by the author.