Introduction

The course seeks to explore a. the current legislative framework of Greek architectural competitions and b. their relevance to the contemporary urban challenges as well as to the international scene.  

The module was originally set to develop into six two-hour sessions planned to take place during the winter semester. However, due to the COVID19 emergency, only the first three meetings were realized within the initial timeframe. The module was halted and reactivated again at the end of May. After that, a few online meetings helped organize the ongoing student research and one last session was eventually held live in late July to summarise and to critically discuss the research findings.

Working Method

Module Unit One introduced participants to the current legislation of architectural competitions in Greece. The aim was for students to identify: the main terms used and their respective definitions; the distinct types of competitions; the taxonomy of modes of participation as well as the organizations and institutions involved in producing and disseminating competition processes and results. In class, students were asked to visually represent the cloud of entities related to the institution in one consistent diagram and to devise a joint report on the history of competitions in Greece online.

During the following two sessions, students were asked to select one recent competition each and to accurately profile the specifics of the competition. The two competitions they selected are the following: a. Open concept design architectural competition “LYCABETTUS PAN.ORAMA” in Athens and b. Architectural Competition for “Building complex for municipal welfare uses" in Thessaloniki. Students were then asked to perform an in depth analysis of the following processes: a. preparing the competition brief and files, b. evaluating proposals and c. nominating awards and commissions. For this reason, they organized a series of interviews with the people responsible for each process: organizing committees, jury members and competition participants or winners.

Upon collecting this information, one last session took place live aiming to make students critically reflect upon their findings. Two guests helped framing the discussion: Antigoni Katsakou, co-editor of "The Competition Grid: Experimenting With and Within Architecture Competitions" book and architect and journalist, Tzina Sotiropoulou who has been monitoring architectural competitions in Greece consistently in recent years. Discussion revolved around contemporary issues of design in the framework of architectural competitions: the role of architects and young architects in particular; their expectations; the role of the public in problem setting and decision-making; the role of competitions in shaping the contemporary aesthetics and  their relation to climate change, urban growth and circular economy.

Outcomes

The course outcomes include: a. the joint report on the history of Greek competitions, b. a critical interview with a National Architects' Association in Greece (SADAS) representative, c. the cloud/diagram illustrating Greek law, d. the profiling of two architectural competitions currently examined in detail and e. a joint report with a critical evaluation of the competition culture in Greece as featured the two case studies. All module interim results (reports, interviews, evaluations) are hosted on this online blog along with any additional material (images; videos) gathered throughout the sessions.

The Team

Olga Ioannou- Project Coordinator

Architect Engineer “Sapienza” – Rome & AUTH, MSc NTUA, PhD NTUA. Her research and her PhD relate to architectural education and online learning as well as circular economy. She has participated in international conferences, while her work has been published in both conference proceedings and scientific journals. She has been an A10 correspondent for Greece since 2015.

Katerina P. Moustaka- Researcher

Arch. Eng. NTUA (2017). She is currently a postgraduate student at NTUA program entitled: “Research in Architecture: Architectural Design - Space - Culture.” She also works as a freelance architect employed by the Municipality of Megara.

Stelina Portesi- Researcher

Arch. Eng. AUTH (2018). She is currently a postgraduate student at NTUA program entitled: “Research in Architecture: Architectural Design - Space - Culture.” Her research interests revolve around issues of memory and politics of exclusion through spatial relations.

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