House ecologies.

Documentary | A common space for 852 doors, Short Film Documentary, 31’, color and black & white, 2020

 

The film is an in-situ search and mapping of the urban commons in a complex, working-class suburb in Athens. Those apartment buildings had called out attention when we both moved in the neighborhood. They seem to have a common architectural root with East European and Balkan communist blocks, although not built under the same regime. Those blocks were built for the refugees from Minor Asia by the Dictatorship regime.

Despite today's bias and social stigmatization, we find those spaces inspiring and influential, able to become active catalysts of potentially urban community activities. Searching for people and activities that could tackle the inertia and isolation, we found people with a story to tell. Those six residents, a mosaic of people, coming from different backgrounds and places, illustrates the current situation of a much complex network of...852 families.

Through the film, we want to reclaim the identity of those buildings by enhancing the public spaces that are neglected and giving them back to the community. The documentary at the end leaves the viewer with the question if a common space is enough to bring all of these diverse people closer to each other.

Documentary credits:

Director/ Editor// Mina Archontaki, Stella Archontaki

Music// Thomas Meleteas

Sound Editing// Andreas Govas

Subtitles// Marialena Yannoulatou

Featuring//

Lukia, Stephanos, Stelios

Alexandra & Nikos, Rena, Tzimis

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Sculpture with cob material | 20 x 25 x 165 cm, soil, straw, sand, water, 2021

 

 Cob building is an ancient method for building houses and is a common practice in many areas of the world. The popularity of this technique comes from the fact that with low cost and abundant natural materials one can build their house. With the help of a team or a community of people, a sustainable and ecological building can be made. 

Inspired by this traditional technique I constructed a tower-like building with adobes placed one on top of the other. The layering of the adobes makes a connection with the documentary “A common space for 852 doors” where the residents lived one upon each other forming a pile of apartments. The use of this eco-material shows an alternative in construction materials that can be used for more sustainable architecture.

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Installation with bioplastic sculptures | various dimensions,  bioplastic material (Natural-based biopolymer), 2021

 

The installation is made of wooden cubes piled one on top of the other and covered with translucent bioplastic that reveals the internal structure. The installation works complementary with the documentary “A common space for 852 doors” referring to commons, those related to the natural resources, known as environmental commons. The vertical structures of the layered cubes remind the typical architecture of high-raised buildings.

The material used is bioplastic, a natural biopolymer fully compostable and biodegradable. The bioplastic made for the installation is an organic one made from plant and animal-based ingredients and the final result occurred after hours of experimentation. Being an organic material, atmospheric moisture and temperature are affecting it, leading to its eventual decomposition. It’s a parallel procedure of the degradation of ecosystems caused by overconsumption of natural resources by human activities.

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Drawings | turmeric, henna, charcoal, pencil, and blue ink on paper, 2020-2021

 

A series of aquarelles made of natural dyes. I experimented a lot with the consistency of the pigments to arrive at the final result. The dyes are made from a combination of turmeric and henna and blue ink on heavy-weight paper.

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