ESO, the one-day conference that has become the leading show-case for design and the arts in Greece, will this June be celebrating ten successful years of events staged by archisearch.gr magazine in collaboration with +DESIGN magazine. ESO “Crossing Territories” will take place on 15 June at STEGI – ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTRE as the catalyst of the experiences that we have been living in the last years that aim towards uncertain social, cultural, political and economic transformations: from imposed to actual tremblor in front of uncertainty without preconceptions. This one-day conference is presented by Mies Van Der Rohe Foundation (Barcelona) Curator and Program Director Ivan Blasi, Disrupt Symposium founder Sara Kolata, and the journalist Danai Makri.
Crossing is the place of in-between, of uncertainty, of non-evidence, of what is strange or different. Crossing positions us at the limits of citizenship, of what we understand by humanity and architecture can take all this and transform it into strength, setting the first map of society with new ways of doing.
Crossing Territories will benefit from the experience of Fundació Mies van der Rohe and the EU Mies Award with its always open and welcoming community of people who make it possible. Cultural activists and critics and artists and architects, all find themselves at this crossing point. The crossing will begin with Joel Sanders making questions of gender and sexuality visible to the field of architecture that has traditionally subverted such questions. Architecture is an important force in the construction and performance of gender. In “Crossing territories”, many more spaces than the traditional ones become political architectures, battlegrounds, transiting spaces of gender recognition that oscillate between the feminine and the masculine. The emergence of research on the intersection of sexuality and design, and how gender and race relate to architecture and to studies of architecture, including discriminations based on them, is key to working from and for inclusivity.
Like rowers, while going forward and crossing uncertain situations, we need to look back and forth. XVW architectuur and María Langarita have both won the EU Mies Award and as María developed in her PhD, innovation in architecture lies in displacement: bringing the tropics to Denmark, an ocean liner to the city center, the past to the present, the present to the future and also the profane to the academy. Both have strong experience working with what already exists and bringing new lives to it, sometimes following strict conservationist regulations and strong local identities, sometimes leaving it up to people to decide and finish the transformation process. The moderator of the panel is Elias Messinas, architects and ECOWEEK Chairman. We are crossing territories because there is also a natural instinct for self-preservation. Our own fragility depends on that of the planet and crossed environmental and cultural narratives today have a strong voice through the thoughts and implementation of design of people such as Thomas Doxiadis, Andreas Theodoridis, and Lydia Xynogala, who work on different approaches towards the transformation of landscapes and also involved in critical discussions in different territories.
Following this same natural instinct, there is the need to give new lives to discarded materials through design, technology, and craftsmanship. New tools have brought us new possibilities that will be discussed by The New Raw, New Affiliates, and AREA, working in different geographical and cultural environments. The moderator of the panel is Peter Murray, Chairman of the New London Architecture and the London Society and awarded with OBE.
Where we live, our homes has experienced a huge appreciation in the last two years. “Housing – Forms of Living & Sustainability through transformation” will bring together two of the most sensible voices on the topic in Europe today, the teams of Frédéric Druot and Peris Toral. How do we design housing and how does this transform people and the territory? How do we transform what exists and how do we involve those that make it their homes? There are answers already but more political trust and involvement is surely necessary.
We are all crossing territories and we all need to stand together and get involved in how we want to live: inhabitants, designers, and decision-makers. A lot has been done, but much more still needs to be done and it is in our hands. “We understand the world better,” Édouard Glissant says, “when we tremble with it because the world is shaking in all directions.” Crossing territories is a catalyst for change at STEGI – ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTRE.
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