The diploma design dissertation of Fotini Pitoglou entitled “Cyclades Archipelago: Regenerating the Productive and Tourism Landscapes” was presented in 2017 at the School of Architecture of University of University of Waterloo in Canada. –text by the author
Through history the shifting dynamics of urban and regional development in Greece’s Cyclades Archipelago shaped its overall identity and its islands’ social, economic and political cohesion. Nowadays the emerged tourism industry constitutes the main dynamic and has affected all the facets of the communities’ existence.
Each island of the Cyclades Archipelago has experienced these impacts to different degrees according to its stage of tourist resort evolution1, which in turn is highly associated with the seasonality of the island’s landscape2, and the period required for reaching that more developed stage.
Departing from the analysis of the tourism landscape and the globalization processes that it induces, this thesis proposes a diversified economy that takes advantage of the islands informal production, while it transmits the intangible cultural heritage to the global traveler through a slow process of experiencing culture. It suggests a network of co-dependencies in Cyclades between its productive and tourism landscapes that mutually benefits locals and the visitors and is developed through a multi-scalar design.
At the first stage of this proposal, a strategic design of interdependencies has been created at the scale of the archipelago. The aim of this strategy is the restructure of the archipelago’s organization and the establishment of relations between weaker and stronger economies for the enhancement of the Cyclades’ economy and the preservation of the island localities.
Based on their tourism development and production capabilities, the islands have been organized in a, b and c groups and specific interdependencies between these groups have been proposed.
These interdependencies indicate the route of the local resources, of each industry, agriculture and husbandry, fishing and apiculture, from collection to processing and finally, to consumption. Throughout the three stages of the production process, the proposed strategy emphasizes on the scaling up of the existing declining rural economy and the value-added approach of the production.
The proposed threefold economic organization for the strategic scale of this thesis is paralleled by a threefold experiential organization specific to the type and size of the attracted tourism. These essentially different experiences create different reasons for visiting each island while they try to be authentic to the locale! and offer meaningful travel escapes.
“Cyclades Archipelago” suggests a network of co-dependencies in Cyclades between its productive and tourism landscapes that mutually benefits locals and the visitors and is developed through a multi-scalar design.
In the islands of group A, travelers will experience a rural and wellness-related adventure. Three different sites in Antiparos have been also selected to illustrate how tourism facilities can operate next to cultivation fields. Travelers have the chance to visit the fields, observe closely the producers work, learn the industries difficulties and benefits, and stimulate different processes through hands-on experiences.
In the islands of group A, travelers will experience a rural and wellness-related adventure.
In the islands of group B, travelers will live a leisure and culinary related experience. At two different sites in Paros, visitors’ workshops have been placed adjacent to production stations and retail markets. The production process becomes transparent to encourage observation by visitors and locals while They will be able to understand local products’ qualities and common production practices through five different activities that of making, tasting, studying, shopping and observing.
In the islands of group B, travelers will live a leisure and culinary related experience.
For the islands of group C, and mainly for Mykonos and Santorini, the experience proposed is not different from the one offered today. Mass tourists will continue to participate in consumption-directed activities. However, the consumption will regard local production and it will take place in an organized market.
Through this proposed plan mass tourism’s profits will be distributed within the archipelago while smaller islands will not deal with the mass tourism’s negative implications and an alternative type of tourism will be attracted.
- Πάρις Τσάρτας, “Σχεδίασμα των σταδίων ανάπτυξης του τουρισμού στο νομό Κυκλάδων“, Επιθεώρηση Κοινωνικών Ερευνών: 70 (1988): 191-210.
- Theano Terkenli, “Human Activity in Landscape Seasonality: The Case of Tourism in Crete”. Landscape Research 30, no: 2 (2007): 221-239.
Project title Saladi Beach Hotel: Transformations of the ruin
Student Fotini Pitoglou
Course Master of Architecture Design Thesis
Institution School of Architecture, University of Waterloo in Canada