Πέμπτη, 30 Ιανουαρίου 2014

New Publication [December 2013]


Digital Materiality and the New Relation Between Depth and Surface

Editors: Nikolas Patsavos, Yannis Zavoleas

futura publications
Technical University of Crete, School of Architecture
Ctrl _ Space Lab

Athens, 2013

Publication concept, design and translations
Ctrl _ Space Lab: A. Anagnostaki, M. Christou, M. Nikolakaki N. Patsavos, Y. Zavoleas

Copyright © 2013 by the authors and the EAAE
EAAE Transactions on architectural education no 48
futura publications ISBN: 978-960-9489-37-9
EAAE ISBN: 978-2-930301-46-4


Implications of the Digital in the Anatomy of the Surface

Nikolas Patsavos
Dept. of Architecture
University of Thessaly - Greece

Dr. Yannis Zavoleas
School of Architecture and Built Environment
The University of Newcastle - Australia

Ce qu'il y de plus profond en l'homme,
c'est la peau en tant qu'il le connaît.

Paul Valéry"L'Idée Fixe, La Pléiade", OEuvres II, Paris 1931, pp. 215-6.

The European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE-AEEA) Subnetwork on Architectural Theory, bringing together a wide group of architectural pedagogists working collaboratively on the role and nature of architecture theory in schools of architecture, gathered in Chania in the summer of 2010,  in order to focus on the collateral relations between digital/material and depth/surface. In that seminal meeting, the group, invited by Ctrl_Space [1] Lab founders Yannis Zavoleas and Nikolas Patsavos, the Center for Mediterranean Architecture (KAM-CMA) and the Department of Architecture of the Technical University of Crete, were practically asked to capitalise the findings of its previous work sessions in Hasselt, Trondheim, Lisbon and Fribourg  [2]  by applying methods and concepts developed at those occasions as an interpretative critical tool within the context regarding the emergent digital architecture nature and its effects on education. The whole attempt was seen as an opportunity to revisit a field which, so far, had been often seen as something extraneous and contradictory, if not even hostile to the origins and the traditions of architecture; an attitude the group willed to also problematise and situate it within its relative context.
There has been an important break in the polarity between depth and surface caused in contemporary architecture by the emergence of a new digital materiality and tactility. On a technical level, this is due to techniques of fabrication linking the design and representation process directly with fabrication, whereas in the level of perception and representation, it follows the aftermath of folding in architecture and its claim for a new continuity based on the abolishment of the traditional spatial dipoles (interior/exterior, up/down et.al.). In a broader sense, this shift towards the surface of things as “the deepest side of the world” has to do with a wider socio-cultural change which has been triggered by postmodern irony and by the wish to “revalorize all values”. The dualities operating as the founding myths of architecture have been widely reassessed by being subjected to arguments on their relative value and on the need to work in-between such poles as form and content, façade-space, man-building, building-nature, matter-intelligence, representation-reality, skin-structure, natural-artificial, object-subject etc.. In fact, new hybrid constructions and concepts have taken their place: cyborg, enhanced reality, virtual processor, information whereas the focus has been turned towards not the opposition among the two traditional poles but the possible relations and exchanges of properties between them.
The above issues were addressed by architects and scholars from Finland, Ireland, Spain, Belgium, the USA, Italy, the UK, Denmark,  Sweden, Norway, Turkey and Greece who contributed to the workshop by means of both individual presentations organised in two five sessions, and two keynote lectures by Kostas Terzidis (Harvard GSD) and Vana Tentokali (AUTh), and two round table workshops-discussions. Following the meeting, all participants were asked to prepare their revised and updated written contributions in order to produce the final outcome of the project in the form of the present edited volume. The five sessions are organised thematically in a way covering historical, epistemological, technical, conceptual-perceptual and natural properties of the issue respectively. The two keynote lectures are crossing this multifaceted subject in two different axis by emphasising at either the anthropological-perceptual and the technical-ethical challenges underlying the overall re-organisation of architectural knowledge and practice discussed. In that sense, they provide with a first opportunity to unify the various perspectives proposed throughout the book.

[1] Ctrl_Space Lab is a collaborative Athens based architecture platform providing the ground for a critical reshaping of the contemporary discourse by means of both design research and theory events. Its action is focused at the structural polarities identifying the identity of architecture.

[2] Hilde Heynen, Alex Reuta. Proceedings of  Four EAAE-ENHSA Subnetwork Workshops on Architectural Theory: Hasselt (2006), Trodheim (2007), Lisbon (2008), Fribourg (2009), EAAE Transactions on Architectural Education, No. 43, Brussels: 2010.

Παρασκευή, 24 Ιανουαρίου 2014

The Athens Manifesto_ Reference Material

Critical Interpretative Layers/ 

Επίπεδα Κριτικής Ανάλυσης


Manuel de Landa, Capitals and Metropolises.

How should we conceptualize cities?. Where in the continuum between individuals and societies should they be located? This class tackles this question by examining social entities smaller than cities (communities, organizations) as well as larger ones (provinces, nation states). It also introduces a basic typology of urban centers. Cities from ancient times have engaged in two quite different types of activities, one characterized by centralized decision-making, the other by multiple decisions made in a decentralized way. Those functions we associate with the government of cities are of the first type, while those related to trade are of the second type. Some urban centers tend to be dominated by one or another of these types of activities, becoming either the capital or organizing center of a hierarchy of towns, on one hand, or a gateway to foreign markets linked into a transnational network, on the other.


Manuel de Landa, The Biology of Cities 1 & 2

Urban centers have many different relations with organic entities. First and foremost, towns and cities have always been parasitic on their surrounding countryside for food. As cities develop and outgrow this primary supply zone they reach out to other areas. Some do it through trade, others through colonialism and conquest. Besides food, cities prior to this century also depended on rural areas for their supply of human beings. Not until the 19th. century did urban centers become net producers of people. Before that death rates were always higher than birth rates (at least for the majority of citizens) and most towns depended on a constant stream of rural migrants to grow.


Geoffry West, Life from Cells to Cities: Are They Sustainable?

a cross-disciplinary and collaborativeproject that examines current environmentalissues and the potential to effect significantchange through critical dialogue and innovative practices.Geoffrey West is the distinguished professor and former president of the Santa Fe Institute. He presents "Growth, Innovation, and the Accelerating Pace of Life from Cells to Cities: Are They Sustainable?"

Contemporary Architectural & Urban Thinking/ Σύγχρονη Αρχιτεκτονική κ' Αστική Σκέψη



OMA, Megalopoli(tic)s
OMA partner Reinier de Graaf gave a lecture at the Berlage Institute about Megalopoli(tic)s.
De Graaf started by arguing that thinking big is compulsory when thinking about 'the green cause'. One needs to think in a global context, like Buckminster Fuller did with his Spaceship Earth and Doxiades' global Ecumenopolis city (1967). By showing different mappings of urban growth, De Graaf showed that the Ecumenoplis is, in fact, not that far way. These developments take place, not in the old Western metropolitan areas, but in the megacities of the South and (Far-)East.
To understand this growth, De Graaf looked at the rise of global economic liberalization. It is generally assumed that this started in the West with the simultaneous election of Margaret Thatcher in the UK and Ronald Reagan in the US. De Graaf argued that it started in China with the coming to power of Deng Xiaoping and the introduction of the ‘Open Door Policy’. De Graaf maintained that economic development is inextricably linked to urbanization, questioning if urbanization is a consequence of economic development or a means to economic development.
The problems that accompany rapid urban growth were historically addressed by (Western) thinkers writing about urbanization, but when Asia became the main setting for urbanization, these Western thinkers ceased thinking and writing about the topic. The visions of tomorrow’s city, are now being seized by consultancy firms. ‘Master plans’ are now created by technology giants like Siemens and home products companies like IKEA.
De Graaf closed his lecture by arguing that the prominence of cities is detrimental to the state of a nation; ‘third world’ cities like Sao Paolo and Mexico City have a GDP as comparable to ‘first world’ countries, such as Sweden and Australia. But these cities still have less political power than their respective nations. While the city (polis) was the birth place of politics, the Megalopolis calls for Megalopolitics…


Κωνσταντίνος Δοξιάδης


Charles Waldheim, Landscape Urbanism

How 21st century urban planners are challenged by the need to organize not just people but space itself and hence defines a new architectural discourse: landscape urbanism.


Eduardo Rico, "Relational Urbanism: Models, Cities and Systemic Utopias"

The lecture will describe the practices of Relational Urbanism, where concepts linked to the cybernetics and system theory form the basis of a renewed critical perspective framing associative and digital techniques, moving beyond the false promises of the parameter and the performative design. The turf which Relational Urbanism claims as its own is that of envisaging new regimes of urbanism which derive their raison d???etre from a spatial design rooted in the material and temporal specificities of the territory and where the metabolic nature of the environment is critically balanced with concepts of social and environmental justice, in short, a laboratory for a new critical territorialism.

Eduardo Rico studied civil engineering in Spain and graduated from the AA's Landscape Urbanism program. He is currently a AA Landscape Urbanism Studio Master and has acted as consultant and performed research in the fields of infrastructure and landscape in Spain and the UK. Currently he is involved in the development of infrastructural strategies for large-scale urban projects within the Arup engineering team as well as being part of the collective GroundLab. 

Pictorias References / Εικονογραφία

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Πέμπτη, 23 Ιανουαρίου 2014

First Call_ Theory Workshop_ April 12-18, 2014

Ctrl_Space Lab organises the first Theory Workshop "The Athens Manifesto: Critical Thinking on the Contemporary Metropolis" in Athens, April 12-18 2014.

The workshop puts forward an analytical agenda on the conditions of the contemporary metropolis addressing Athens as a case study. 
The objective is to construct a series of manifestos based on: i. the understanding of critical layers defining the issue from a more general perspective combining tools originating from sociology, anthropology, biology, ecology, systems theory, networks, media, history, ii. the investigation of the analytical potential embedded within distinct architectural discursive elements, and iii. the production of an array of 'manifestos' based on the above.
In that sense, through a combination of analytical work and original writing and diagrammes developed in the workshop, participants are going to use a given (though open) set of references and data in order to gradually propose their own final position on the issue. The 'manifesto' is selected for its concision as well as its generous rhetorics as the medium most able to initiate a fresh critical discourse on the Athenian Metropolis. 

Participation is open to architecture, planning and geography students as well as professionals of the aforementioned disciplines. There is a closed number of  places available of maximum 12. Applications are open until March 7th . Applicants should e-mail at the address control.space.workshops@gmail.com the following info: Name, Age, Academic or Professional Details (School, Semester, Profession), languages, mobile phone, address. A written statement describing their own personal expectations from the workshop is welcomed together a short writing sample from their own previous work. The workshop is in Greek and english.

Το Ctrl_Space Lab οργανώνει το πρώτο Εργαστήριο Θεωρίας με τίτλο "Το Μανιφέστο της Αθήνας: Κριτική της Σύγχρονης Μητρόπολης" στην Αθήνα, 12-18 Απριλίου 2014. 

Το εργαστήριο προτάσσει ένα αναλυτικό πλαίσιο ερμηνείας των συνθηκών παραγωγής και λειτουργίας της σύγχρονης μητρόπολης εστιάζοντας στο παράδειγμα της Αθήνας.
Στόχος είναι η παραγωγή ενός συνόλου μανιφέστων βασισμένων, βήμα προς βήμα: α. στο ερμηνευτικό δυναμικό μιας διαστρωματωμένης οπτικής που συγκροτείται από εργαλεία που προσφέρουν επιστήμες όπως η κοινωνιολογία, η ανθρωπολογία, η βιολογία, η οικολογία, η θεωρία συστημάτων, η θεωρία δικτύων, η ιστορία, β. στη διερεύνηση των αναλυτικών εργαλείων που προσφέρουν η σύγχρονη αρχιτεκτονική και πολεοδομική σκέψη και, τελικά, γ. στην προσπάθεια συγγραφής μιας σειράς κριτικών δοκιμίων στρατηγικών προθέσεων-μανιφέστων. 

Υπ'αυτήν την έννοια, μέσα από ένα συνδυασμό αναλυτικής εργασίας (συλλογικής και ατομικής) και πρωτότυπης κειμενικής και διαγραμματικής σκέψης, το εργαστήριο προωθεί τη συστηματική παραγωγή συγκεκριμένων θέσεων εκ μέρους των συμμετεχόντως. Το 'μανιφέστο', επιλέγεται ως εκείνο το ρητορικό μέσο που προσφέρεται περισσότερο για την επανέναρξη ενός δυναμικού διαλόγου για τη σύγχρονη αθηναϊκή μητρόπολη.

Η συμμετοχή είναι ανοικτή σε φοιτητές-τριες αρχιτεκτονικής, πολεοδομίας-χωροταξίας και γεωγραφίας καθώς και σε επαγγελματίες των παραπάνω αντικειμένων. Προβλέπεται ένας κλειστός αριθμός συμμετοχών (12). Οι αιτήσεις γίνονται δεκτές μέχρι την Παρασκευή 7 Μάρτη. Οι ενδιαφερόμενοι μπορούν να επικοινωνήσουν μέσω ηλεκτρονικού ταχυδρομείου στη διεύθυνση: 
στέλνοντας και τα ακόλουθα στοιχεία:
Όνομα, Εξάμηνο και Σχολή φοίτησης, Ιδιότητα (επάγγελμα εφόσον υπάρχει), ξένες γλώσσες, στοιχεία επικοινωνίας (κινητό τηλέφωνο, διεύθυνση). Χρήσιμο θα ήταν ένα σύντομο κείμενο (250 λέξεων) στο οποίο οι ενδιαφερόμενοι θα εκφράσουν τις πρώτες σκέψεις τους για το θέμα ή/και ένα σύντομο δείγμα γραφής τους (ό,τι κρίνουν σκόπιμο). Το εργαστήριο διεξάγεται στα ελληνικά και τα αγγλικά. Υπάρχει η δυνατότητα, όποιος το επιθυμεί, να απασχοληθεί με αγγλόφωνες (ή άλλες διεθνείς) πηγές στις οποίες θα βασίσει την προσωπική του συνεισφορά στο εργαστήριο.

Δευτέρα, 20 Ιανουαρίου 2014

Work in Progress_ Process & Results

Image credits: Aphrodite Dossopoulou, Christina Antzoulatou, Christos Gyftopoulos, Maria Triamataki, Katerina Lekou, Kelly Skalkoyanni, Nadia Nika, Nina Papakonstantinou, Stelios Kalatzidakes, Vassilis Dimeris & Ctrl_Space Lab members Marinos Panagi, Sotiris Ntzoufras, Nikolas Patsavos, Yannis Zavoleas.

Early Call_ Theory Workshop_ April 12-18, 2014

@ Ctrl_Space Lab, Σάββατο 12 - Μεγάλη Παρασκευή 18 Απριλίου 

Please stay tuned for more details...

Σάββατο, 18 Ιανουαρίου 2014

Work in Progress... Workshop_ Lab Life

Εν εξελίξει... Work in Progress architecture & visualisation studio is now over! We thank all people engaged with it, Nikolas Patsavos, Yannis Zavoleas, Marinos Panagi, Maria Triamataki, Chryssa Tsatsaroni, Christos Gyftopoulos, Katerina Lekkou, Stavros Kalatzidakis, Nina Papakonstantinou, Kelly Skalkoyanni, Aphrodite Dosopoulou, Vassilis Dimeris, Nadia Nika, Christina Antzoulatou and Sotiris Ntzoufras for their inspiring ideas and dedicated work and we promiss to be back soon with more on the process and the outcome of the workshop as well as with more details about forthcoming near future projects to follow.