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Athens by Exception - Athensx4 Competition

Client: Ministry of Environment 

Location: Athens, Greece

Study: 2010

Design Team: Christiana Ioannou, Christos Papastergiou, Christiana Karagiorgi

Athens in a State of Exception


Since 2009 Greece undergoes an economic crisis unprecedented in its recent history.  Athens as Greece’s metropolis experiences what Giorgio Agamben has called a ‘State of Exception’:


‘Being-outside and yet belonging: this is the topological structure of the state of exception’

The inversion of the notion of exception from a negative to a positive meaning was what generated our intervention.  The proposal consists of two parts: a visual one, which is a map and drawings and a written one, which is the story of XX a fictional character who narrates his experiences from a future, post-crisis Athens.


Within this project, we understand exceptions as a vital but elusive feature in the city and we propose the term as a tool of strategic intervention.

A network of exceptions is spread in the city and establishes cracks on the urban surface. Each crack opens a door to the invasion of the natural element within the city and the downgrade to a more fundamental way of life. The sum of these cracks brings forward the landscape of the city, as an extended mat that continues to live underestimated and neglected beneath the artificial surface.

The network absorbs up to now fragmented parts of nature and makes them part of a greater urban whole.

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