The 13th International Architecture Exhibition, from Aug. 29-Nov. 25, directed by David Chipperfield and entitled Common Ground will include a Greek team as well, called Made in Athens, which focuses on the dynamic of Athens during a period of economic meltdown.
Contemporary Athens is a city of strong contradictions: its identity was shaped during post-World-War-II reconstruction. A city which has at its disposal an exceptionally talented cadre of young architects, international in orientation, well-educated and with a wealth of professional experience. It is, however, the city that has been hard hit by the economic crisis and it shows.
Much of Athens is decomposing and there are increasingly frequent and greater disruptions of the social web. The younger generation of architects benefited from the positive aspects of globalization and now has come face-to-face with the harsh aspect of the global financial crisis, a plummeting standard of living and the need to redefine the priorities of architectural design.
These contradictions are shaping a change in the city. Conditions are being created in Athens to expand links between architecture and the city, during the economic downturn and what it will look like when the trouble has passed. Conditions are being created to bring to the forefront new ways of viewing the role of architecture and how it can reshape the city which destroyed many of its neo-classical buildings for dirty, grey concrete boxes, the ultimate challenge for an architect, especially in a European environment.
Architects Panos Dragonas and Anna Skiada are the Commissioners/Curators of the Greek participation. The exhibition is designed by Panos Dragonas, Anna Skiada, Varvara Christopoulou, Maria Bourdi, Maria Chassioti and jointly funded by the Greek state and the European Union.