Design Studio Required Elective at semester(s) 6, 8, ECTS:
In recent decades, the field of architecture is systematically scrutinized for its role in the establishment of dominant models of development that reinforce social hierarchies and inequalities and whose effects are asymmetrically distributed to the most vulnerable populations at global and local levels. At the same time a range of theoretical approaches seek ways in which architecture can cultivate alternative models of design, construction and production of space. Not only to challenge ongoing forms of exploitation but also to cultivate architectures that 'care' for human and the non-human environment in a direction that addresses the ecological crises of our time.
The expanded definition of "care"
The concept of care has traditionally been associated with services provided under state welfare policies (e.g. hospitals, old people's homes, nurseries) or with care practices within the family which have been identified mainly with unpaid female domestic work or, more recently, with cheap, often informal, migrant labour. The issue of care has been raised by feminist movements since the 1970s. But it has emerged more recently—in Greece as well—in the context of globalization and migration and the social/economic changes brought about by the restriction of welfare policies, the generalization of precarious working conditions by neoliberal policies to manage the recent economic crisis (Vaiou 2013).
Going beyond the conventional understanding of the term, the course adopts the expanded definition attributed to the concept of care by contemporary feminist approaches as encapsulated in the quote below from Berenice Fisher and Joan Tronto:
“On the most general level, we suggest that caring be viewed as a species activity that includes everything we do to maintain, continue, and repair our ‘world’ so that we can live in it as well as possible. That world includes our bodies, our selves, and our environment, all of which we seek to interweave in a complex, life-sustaining web.” (“Toward a Feminist Theory of Caring,” 1990)
In the course we also draw on recent elaborations of the concept of care in the field of architectural theory as part of the search for an alternative ethical/political stance towards the social and ecological challenges. In this light, the social role of architecture and design is revisited and situated at the intersection of alternative practices of care, economy, ecology, and labor (Fitz and Krasny 2019). Αrchitecture’s potential contribution to the enhancement of collective actions, networks of solidarity and mutual aid, the management of commons, and spatial policies with goals for social and environmental justice is further explored.
Architectures of care: The reuse of former industrial buildings of Volos
Contemporary approaches to “care” will be a source of inspiration for the theoretical/design experiments focused on significant unused industrial buildings, such as the ‘Kitrini Apothiki’ [Yellow Warehouse] (1926-30), “Adamopoulos” Tobacco Warehouse (1925-1930) and the former industry “Mefsout” (1920-1940). Inaddition to highlighting the important historical processes such as industrialization, refugee resettlement, the labor movement or other crucial episodes associated with them, the course approaches these buildings as critical infrastructures in the city with potential to enhance urban sustainability and social diversity. The project of reusing the building allows us to explore a range of design experimentations with building programs and materialities in the general direction of architectures of "care”:
- Caring for the city through the preservation and the reuse of built
- Caring for vulnerable social groups by supporting existing and proposing new practices and communities of care
- caring for the environment through the provision of structures with a reduced ecological/energy footprint.
, Comprehension, Evaluation
The course will be developed in two distinct, mutually reinforcing tracks that correspond to defined stages of student work:
Α. In the first stage, every student group will developed mixed-use building programmes. The main objective is to formulate programs for neighborhood centers of “care” in the city of Volos. The combination of uses, the building program and the identity of each centre could draw from existing institutional structures and other organized or informal practices/communities of care based in the city of Volos and can cover a range of cases: from archival institutions, oral history groups, to social/environmental movements and collectives.
The course also encourages the exploration of alternative (and hypothetical) care practices that draw on the history, geography and economy of Volos and Thessaly region. The student projects are invited to highlight the visibility of vulnerable and diverse social groups in the city and to consider how these serve different users: employees, visitors, and wider audiences.
Β. In the second stage, the possibilities of moderate and targeted interventions in the material structure of the building will be explored through the use of alternative materials with a low ecological footprint (e.g. reusable materials or materials produced in local units within Thessaly and within Greece, etc.). The emphasis on the materiality of new interventions is a critical parameter of the reuse of the historic building, the definition of the urban identity of the new uses and the future role of the reused building in the neighborhood and the wider city. By designing with materials in mind, the aim is to identify:
- The materiality/atmosphere of the new uses and their relationship to the existing materialities of the industrial buildings and their respective environments.
- The material form of the extensions which will both accommodate the new uses and enhance the internal circulation and access of persons and objects to and from the building.
- The exploration of expansions and additions not only for practical reasons but also for redefining these buildings future architectural and urban identities.
The experimentation with alternative materials with a low ecological footprint allows us to reflect on the critical role of architecture in changing the culture of design, construction and economy oriented towards drastically reducing the energy-intensive processes of extraction, use and transport of materials across the planet.
Fitz, A. Krasn E. and Architekturzentrum Wien (eds.), 2019. Critical Care: Architecture and Urbanism for a Broken Planet, Vienna: Architekturzentrum Wien; Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (eclass)
Chatzidakis, Andreas, Jamie Hakim, Jo Litter, and Catherine Rottenberg. 2022. Το Mανιφέστο της Φροντίδας: Η Πολιτική της Αλληλεξάρτησης. Θεσσαλονίκη: Ρόπη. (eclass)
Material Culture. 2022. Material Reform: Building for a Post-Carbon Future. First ed. London: MACK.
Dzierżawska, Z., & Malterre-Barthes, C. 2022. Graphic Novel: A Global Moratorium on New Construction, Architectural Review. Ανάκτηση 21 Φεβρουαρίου 2022, https://www.architectural-review.com/essays/graphic-novel-a-global-moratorium-on-new-construction
Graham S. and Thrift N. 2007. Out of order: Understanding repair and maintenance. Theory, Culture & Society 24(1): 1–25.
Mattern, S. “Maintenance and Care,” Places Journal, November 2018. Accessed 04 Mar 2022. https://doi.org/10.22269/181120
Space Caviar (ed.) Non Extractive-Architecture: On Designing without Depletion, London: Sternberg Press.
INDUSTRIAL HISTORY OF VOLOS
Αδαμάκης Κ., 2009. Τα Βιομηχανικά Κτίρια του Βόλου, Αθήνα: Εκδόσεις Π.Ι.Ο.Π.
Van Boeschoten, R. and Antoniou, A.  The Spectre of the Yellow Warehouse: Transitions in Memory. In: Camps of Transit, Sites of Memory, edited by Roberta Mira. Oxford, United Kingdom: Peter Lang Verlag (υπό έκδοση).
Χαστάογλου, Β. 2007. Βόλος, το Πορτραίτο μιας Πόλης από το 19ο αιώνα έως Σήμερα. Βόλος: Δημοτικό Κέντρο Ιστορίας και Τεκμηρίωσης Βόλου.
INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS RECORDS
Λιάρος Αθανάσιος, 2007. «Μετατροπή διατηρητέου βιομηχανικού κτιρίου πλακοποιίας ΜΕΦΣΟΥΤ στο Βόλο, σε βρεφονηπιακό σταθμό και πολιτιστικό κέντρο γειτονιάς», Τμήμα Αρχιτεκτόνων Μηχανικων, ΠΘ, Βόλος. (Κατεβάστε εδώ).
Φασουράκης, H. 2017. “AMERICA TOBACCO”, ΣΕΚΕ, ΕΘΝΙΚΟΣ ΟΡΓΑΝΙΣΜΟΣ ΚΑΠΝΟΥ (Ε.Ο.Κ.), Βιομηχανικά Δελτία Απογραφής (www.vidarchives.gr/reports/2017_03_928).
Φασουράκης, Η. 2017. ΚΑΠΝΑΠΟΘΗΚΗ ΑΔΑΜΟΠΟΥΛΟΥ, Βιομηχανικά Δελτία Απογραφής (www.vidarchives.gr/reports/2017_03_929).
Φασουράκης, Η. 2017. ΕΡΓΟΣΤΑΣΙΟ ΜΩΣΑΪΚΩΝ ΠΛΑΚΩΝ «ΒΙΚΕΝΤΙΟΣ ΜΕΦΣΟΥΤ & ΣΙΑ», Βιομηχανικά Δελτία Απογραφής (www.vidarchives.gr/reports/2016_02_198).
Cosmolocalism: Design global, Manufacture local, https://cosmolocalism.eu
Material Cultures, https://materialcultures.org
Rotor Deconstruction, https://rotordc.com
Αρχείο οπτικοασκουστικών μαρτυριών - Εργαστήριο Ιστορίας (ΙΑΚΑ ΠΘ)
Ομάδα Προφορικής Ιστορίας Βόλου – ΟΠΙΒΟ
Δημοτικό Κέντρο Ιστορίας και Τεκμηρίωσης Βόλου – Δήμος Βόλου