Athens-based designer Yiannis Ghikas has cast a new series of porcelain bowls and cups in collaboration with Myran design shop, as a contemporary take on Athens’ construction technique, called Artificiel.
As the designer describes: “Walking the streets of Athens, one observes that most buildings constructed between 1950 and 1970 are dressed in surfaces of chased cement facing – a technique that is colloquially known as Artificiel. This “skin” of the city observed at places either well-preserved or visibly worn caught my attention for quite some time. The scale of application of this technique in Athenian buildings is so ubiquitous that, if there was one texture to stand as the signature feature of the city, this would be it. If I had to choose one dominant characteristic of Athens to incorporate in my design work, then I would clearly choose artificiel; and so I did.”
Using photogrammetry, the designer scanned three basic types of artificiel (fine/chténi, medium/thrapína, coarse/koutaliá) on three urban buildings found in the districts of Kypseli and Kolonaki. Using the digital references, he built 3D models of the objects which, when printed, formed the base for the construction of the molds where porcelain is cast.
As Myran design store’s owners state: “When Yiannis Ghikas showed us the new project he was working on after coming back from his residency in Arita in Japan, it was love at first sight. Having worked for two decades with Scandinavian and Japanese Design in Greece, we couldn’t have found a better way of expressing our aesthetic bipolarness than this ceramic celebration of Athens, combining the subtleness of Japanese craft with the gritty diamond of the Athenian facades”.