Back to top

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

(Left) Invisible City, Argyris Drolapas 2014. (Right) Athens Spread, Yorgis Yerolymbos 2012.

Instructor: Petros Babasikas
Meeting Section: L0101
Summer 2020

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, archaeological sites, the beach– 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 day-long seminar sessions in Toronto between May 12-15, and two weeks in Athens between May 18-28 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 one pdf, include a paragraph describing your interest in the X-Athenas course, 5 work samples (student work), and a short CV. Files should follow the naming convention "SURNAME_GivenName_student#_ARC300Y0_LEC0101.pdf"

Applications should be sent to by Wednesday, March 11th, 2020.