“A Shelter for Architecture”, 15 April 2016, Consulate General of Greece in New York, USA
The Greek Institute of Architects in New York [GIANY] presented “A Shelter for Architecture” at the Consulate General of Greece in New York. “A Shelter for Architecture” took place on Friday, April 15th 2016, over a span of 6 hours, starting at 6 pm. During the event, the Consulate itself became a shelter for architecture and a platform for exchange of ideas between architects, intellectuals, educators, and the general public.
The event explored the idea of shelter as a concept. Shelter is one of the basic human needs, associated with the notion of protection – protection for a human body, a feeling, an identity, a culture, a religion or an idea. Cities like New York have been throughout their history a shelter for millions of immigrants.
While refugees in the Mediterranean get displaced in boats in search of security and contemporary immigrants of the economic crisis flee to new countries, the concept of shelter becomes again so relevant. Shelter could be potentially any expression of architecture, as architecture embodies above all a primitive necessity for protecting and receiving. Architecture evolved from the practical need of a dwelling space to the emotional haven of a weekend house, from the minimum inhabitation footprint of emergency housing to the museum as a sanctuary for the arts. The concept of shelter is historically connected strongly with the architectural production and has been pivotal in every architect’s practice.
The evening staged events ranging from architectural exhibitions to talks and presentations, artistic performances and installations. The major components of the event were DIALOGUES, COCOON and TECTONICS. DIALOGUES was a concise and fast-paced, multiple-speaker event, presented by interdisciplinary professionals, covering a widely diverse range of subjects in relation to the general discourse on shelter. Architects, Engineers, Artists, Choreographers, Scientists, Psychologists and other professionals created a map of ideas which reinterpreted shelter through diverse lenses.
COCOON was an installation featuring the results of an open call for ideas on the notion of shelter as a minimum habitat. The competition aspired to rethink shelter as the minimum habitat and expand the notion of the boundary between the body and its environment. Participants were encouraged to explore the typology of the archetypical cocoon and investigate the experience of inhabitation as a notion of second skin.
TECTONICS showcased the architectural production of Greek architects who practice in New York: drawing sets and photographs of finished spaces, construction documentation, renderings of ideas and research speculation – the exhibited projects created an array of explorations on architectural production and could be perceived through the general parameters of building: physical, social, economic and political. Tectonics [from the Greek τεκτονικός, “pertaining to building”] refer to the art and science of construction.
COMMONPLACE, a performance based installation project was also presented in the context of “A Shelter for Architecture”. The choreographed actions unsettled the notions of shelter, by placing it to unfamiliar urban places.
DIALOGUES speakers: Emanuel Admassu, Marcello Bardi, Rachel Barnard, Mark J. Blechner, Justin Den Herder, Eva Franch i Gilabert, Ignacio González Galán, William Hirst, Nikos Katsikis, Christoph Kumpusch, Amanda Loulaki, Matthias Neumann, Dimitris Papanikolaou, Nathan Rich, Ian Strange, Zenovia Toloudi, Lydia Venieri, Adonis Volanakis. DIALOGUES was moderated by Ivi Diamantopoulou, Eirini Tsachrelia, Loukia Tsafoulia, Parina Vasilopoulou.
COCOON winners: Vagelis Arvanitis / Maita Chatziioannidou / Vasilis Giannakis / Michael Velenis, Maria Avramidou, Benoit Bourd, George Kontaroudis / Michail Karolos Keranis, George Vlasis Pakalidis / Spyros Nikolopoulos.
COCOON finalists: Georgia Anagnostopoulou, Aikaterini Bousia Alexaki, Kristoffer Castro, Maria Laura Casu, Neeraj Chatterji, Rennie Jones/ Abby Stone, Olga Ktena/ Kelly Spanou, Carl Laffan, Beomki Lee, Nikos Michelis, Frixos Petrou/ Guillermo Fernandez/ Laura Garcia, Anastasia Spyropoulou/ Angeliki Koutsandrea, Angeliki Tzifa, Athanasios Vaglas/ Ilia Politopoulou, Kun-Lin Justin Yang/ Andreina De Abreu/ Anna Lim/ Alberto Altamirano
TECTONICS participants: Eirini Anthouli (for Morris Adjmi Architects), Ivi Diamantopoulou (with Rutger Huiberts), John Fotiadis (with Ahmed Hassaballa and Eirini Tsachrelia), Jason Iplixian, Elena Kapompasopoulou (with Tassos Govatsos), Anna Maria Kasimati (for Rockwell Group), Michail Karolos Keranis, Konstantina Koligliati (for STUDIOS Architecture), Minas Konstantinou (with Valmik Vyas), George Kontaroudis, Emily Koustae (for GF55 Architects), Natassa Papadi (with Juan Francisco Saldarriaga), Dimitra Papageorgiou (for GF55 Architects), Kriti Siderakis (with Joel Rutten), Dimitris Spyropoulos (for SPG Architects), Eirini Tsachrelia, Parina Vasilopoulou, Dimitris Venizelos (for Perkins Eastman Architects), Christina Yessios (for Steven Holl Architects), Athina Zafeiropoulou (with Jonathan Yang)
COMMONPLACE artists: Mai Ueda, Madeline Hollander, with the participation of Katie Geydos and Jeremy Pheiffer / curated by Sozita Goudouna.
Photographs by: Costas Picadas, Sina B. Hickey
“A Shelter for Architecture” was organized and curated by: Constantine Bouras, Evita Fanou, Electra Kontoroupi, Ioannis Oikonomou, Foteinos Soulos, Dimitra Tsachrelia.
“A Shelter for Architecture” became possible with the generous sponsorship of Eastern Mediterranean Maritime Limited.
GIANY [Greek Institute of Architects in New York] was founded in 2013 and has since been aiming to bring together the Greek architects who live and practice in New York. Through its actions, GIANY plays a central role within the Greek architectural community in New York, as a platform for sharing architectural ideas, strengthening its members’ professional voices, advocating for the work of Greek architects of New York, and acting as a social initiative.