Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The First Athens Architecture Workshop starts today!

The city of Athens rises to the north of the Acropolis in a vast plain of the Attican peninsula, dotted with low hills and circumscribed by mountains and unfolding to the south towards the sea. To the west of the city stands Mount Egaleo, to the North-West Mount Parnitha, to the North-East Mount Pentelikon and south-east the linear formation of Mount Ymittos. The ancient urban unity of Athens reached its highest level of completeness, Between the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. In this era the polis expanded across the plain from the “sacred rock” of the Acropolis to the sea with the “Great walls” to Piraeus, the port on the Saronic Gulf (Saronikos Kolpos).

IV century BC - After the Ottoman occupation the city grows beyond its ancient boundaries. Great roads unify the ancient to the new radially towards the North. Actually, the city occupies a vast area, which extends from the aforementioned circumscribing mountains to the sea on the South and from Marathon to Eleusis, east and west respectively. In its contemporary urban form, two images of the city coexist, that of the ancient city integrated with that of the neoclassical period, on one hand and that of the diffused city as a result of the spontaneous growth of the modern metropolis, on the other. Nevertheless, the signs of the ancient city have remained as “indelible” components in the memory of contemporary Athens, which through the years has “rewritten” its history on the ancient traces.

Seven sites have been chosen for the purposes of this workshop, located between the ancient and the 19th century areas of the city centre. These sites, of course, have diverse characteristics due to their location, ranging from residual areas within the consolidated urban fabric, to areas in direct relation with the geological formations in the centre of the urban environment of the city. The objective of the workshop is to attribute an identity and scale to these sites and to inquire through the design process, their hidden potential.

1 • Lycabettus
Between the hill and
surrounding urban tissue
2 • Leoforos Alexandras
Between ‘Pedion tou Areos’ park &
‘Prosfygika’ district
3 • Lykeion park & Liberty park
Cultural garden chain
4 • Plateia Klafthmonos
Between the Neoclassical Triangle & the
Lycabettus district
5 • Plateia Koumoundourou
Between the Neoclassical Triangle & the
Metaxourgeion district
6 • Neoclassical Triangle
Study of its public spaces
7 • Stathmos Larissis
Athens railway complex

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Catwalks : Most Spectacular Fashion Shows

In the beginning, the theatre was the temple of fashion. During the reign of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, whatever was being worn at court was shown at the theatre, on stage, and in the audience. The queen’s dressmaker, Rose Bertin, dressed half-sized wooden mannequins with miniature versions of her latest creations and accessories and had them driven to the various courts of Europe in magnificent coaches. And so the catwalk was born. To this day, great fashion is still theatre and spectacle rolled into one. It is a form of theatrical self-portrayal and a highly charged form of self-dramatisation.

Viktor & Rolf, S/S 08

The Catwalks exhibition will highlight a dozen of the most spectacular shows of the past 30 years: grand performances (Dior), the circus as a theatrical chamber of wonders (Galliano), dramatic performances (Alexander McQueen), or the catwalk as a table set for a celebratory dinner (Dries van Noten). Visitors will themselves become catwalk models. By walking along the catwalk, they will become part of a number of major fashion shows, which will be brought to life and transformed into a 3D spectacle in video projections and multimedia installations.

Alexander McQueen S/S 08

The partners of this exhibition are German Vogue and Alex de Betak, one of the greatest directors in the fashion show business and a man who has worked for highly influential fashion labels such as Viktor and Rolf, Hussein Chalayan, 10 years for Galliano and Dior, and more. The realisation in the hands of Parisian video artists Kai von Ahlefeld and Maria Spahn from "ueberraum".

Chanel S/S 08

When asked to sum up the project, which will include collaboration with some of the world’s most influential designers, Petra Wenzel and Werner Lippert had this to say: ‘We are looking to the future, recording the significance of fashion shows, which for many designers have become more important than the collections themselves.

More information here

Lanvin S/S 08


NRW-Forum Kultur und Wirtschaft
Ehrenhof 2, 40479 Düsseldorf

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Sunday: 11.00 a.m.–8.00 p.m.
Friday: 11.00 a.m.–12 p.m.

Ticket prices include admission and headphone rental
Adults:7 Euro
Concessions: 5 Euro
Friday night, from 6.00 p.m.: 5 Euro
Supplement for free admissions (Art Card, ICOM, etc.): 2 Euro

Visitors enter the exhibition at their own risk.

Prada S/S 08

Installations by: Balmain / Hussein Chalayan / Chanel / Comme des Garçons / Christian Dior / John Galliano / Jean-Paul Gaultier / Givenchy / Marc Jacobs / Martin Margiela / Alexander McQueen / Thierry Mugler / Rodarte / Yves Saint Laurent / Dries Van Noten / Victor & Rolf / Yohji Yamamoto

... and in the Catwalks-Cinema: Balenciaga / Roberto Cavalli / Dolce & Gabbana / Gianfranco Ferré / Lacoste / Lanvin / Issey Miyake / Olivier Theyskens / Rick Owens / Prada / Sonia Rykiel / Valentino / Giambattista Valli / Versace / Diane von Fürstenberg / Vivienne Westwood

Photographs courtesy of Wallpaper magazine.