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A Section Through the Metropolitan Landscape of Athens

by Maria Mitsoula

Maria Mitsoula
PhD in Architecture by Design

A Section Through the Metropolitan Landscape of Athens
Photography, models and projection, (2012)

The objective of this design research, focused on the Athenian Metropolitan Landscape, as this has especially been developed through the process of marble quarrying, is to bring together the notions of Landscape [L] and Urbanism [M]. To approach the city and architecture through the questions of excavating, measuring, displacing and curating those landscapes immediately imply a sensible engagement with multiple scales, temporalities and subjectivities. But this sensibility does not only come from the understanding of how this landscape is formed over time by the elements, but mostly of how a developing human care is as much part of the same process.

In particular, the purpose of the marble quarry in Dionysos is to break stone into measurable blocks. Though, the choice of the spatial placement of its extraction is determined by the results of the mapping of the cracks. These are areas of weakness, having little tensile, compressive and resistance to shear strength. Thus, the initial step is for the experts to photograph the uncovered parts of the rock, while then carefully record and effectively reinforce the vulnerable parts.

This reciprocal relationship between the sensibility that understands the specific landscape and then develops the city of Athens upon it and at the same time between the Athenian Metropolitan Landscape [M][L] and the Sculpture Court are researched through various visual experiments. The exhibits (photographs, drawings and models) are curated in such a way as to create a new set of relationships between the existing cast collection of the Athenian frieze at the Sculpture Court and the Athenian Metropolitan Landscape. While by reinterpreting these conventional forms of architectural representations that depict geological, technological, cultural, political operations, etc. we might not only reveal how we have misdirected such a sensibility but also how we might further develop it.

Date: June 19, 2012

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