Summer Studio Abroad: X-Athenas - Public Space Stories in Contemporary Athens

(left) Invisible City, Argyris Drolapas 2014. (right) Athens Spread, Yorgis Yerolymbos 2012

ARC300Y0 F
Instructor: Petros Babasikas
Meeting Section: L0101
Summer 2022


This Summer Studio Abroad investigates contemporary Athens as a living laboratory of urban change, testing contemporary theories of urbanism against different sites and itineraries, asking students to explore, document and navigate the city. They do so via a series of routes focusing on specific Athenian commons –squares, gardens, walkways, buildings, monuments, waterscapes, and ancient sites – producing a set of composite drawings and images curated in a log.

In constant transformation since its foundation as the capital of modern Greece in 1834, the urban fabric, landscape and publics of Athens have been an unpredictable, diverse and complex laboratory of change: entropic, catastrophic, informal, designed, partially planned, hyper-dense, democratic and self-organized. The climate pressures and global crises at work in the contemporary Mediterranean Metropolis during the Anthropocene era fundamentally challenge our expectations of architecture in the city. Does it make sense to project in tabula rasa, designing iconic buildings and driving citywide urban renewal projects? The class will consider a genealogy of architectural projects taking on this challenge: works of bricollage, green and blue infrastructure, adaptive reuse within the ruins of Modernism, and reinvention of declining commons, against the ancient walkscapes, human scale, palimpsest, enclaves, building typologies, waste landscapes and water networks of Athens, today.

The course will be structured in two parts: a series of daily seminar sessions in Toronto between May 17-24, and two weeks in Athens between May 26-June 10 including field trips/walks through the city, lectures, guided and independent studio work in collaboration with students from the Department of Architecture, University of Patras, Greece. This program is available for IE Awards+ funding. For more information, please review the information here, and apply here.


In order to apply, students are required to submit a paragraph describing your interest in the X-Athenas course, 5 work samples (student work), and a short CV. This course is availabel to students in year 3 or higher, including students who will be graduating in June 2022.  Applications are to be submitted here.

Information sessions for this course will be held on:

  • Wednesday, March 23, 2022 from 11:00am – 12:00pm in DA200
  • Friday, March 25, 2022 from 3:00pm - 4:00pm in DA315

The deadline to apply is Monday, March 28, 2022 at 11:59pm EST.