The Research Unit for South European cities is organising an intensive workshop investigating transformations of housing and public space along the axis of publicness. Participants will be invited to work on particular neighborhood spaces of Thessaloniki employing mixed research methods. The workshop will be supervised by an international team of experts and includes lectures on housing and public space from a variety of disciplines related to -the study of- urban space, as well as introductory lectures on innovative and participatory urban action research methodologies. On the final day of the workshop, student presentations will be discussed with a panel comprised of the organisers, invited keynote speakers and AESOP TG PSUC members. The workshop content and fieldwork may vary according to COVID-19 restrictions.
Questioning the well-established binary between the private and the public (spaces, lives, experiences, etc), this workshop seeks to explore the complex, unstable and messy urban practices and lived experiences that give form to everyday urban environments. The endeavour is to develop critical and reflective perspectives on existing perceived boundaries and dichotomies.
We propose to study the continuous interplay between public and private spaces through the concept of publicness. Publicness is not a static condition. Rather, it is a dynamic process that is linked to issues of ownership and control, accessibility, lived experiences and perceptions, everyday relations and feelings. It is embodied and materialised through complex relationships developed between humans, humans and places as well as humans and non-humans. It is sustained and built in different scales from the private yards and homes to the streets, the neighbourhood and the city. Overall, publicness is related to issues of democracy and inclusion.
Building on this framework, the aim of the workshop is to explore and theorise the publicness of urban spaces in Thessaloniki and beyond by focusing on the interplay of the materialities, spatial practices, shared meanings and discourses of the lived experiences and embodied interactions that take place in these spaces.
Indicative research questions that will be explored in the context of the workshop are:
1. How do everyday practices and lived experiences challenge the binary between public and private spaces? How do the materialities of space challenge, reinforce or transcend the public-private binary?
2. Which are the embodied and affective practices through which people appropriate public spaces?
3. How do people from different subject positions (age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, etc) meet in and produce public space in relation to housing on the level of everyday life?
Workshop participants will work in groups under the continuous guidance and supervision of the teaching team. The sites aim to highlight the contradictions emerging between the “new” and the “old”, the “public” and the “private”, “housing” and “squares” in the city of Thessaloniki, in order to deconstruct established notions and divides with regards to what constitutes the public and private spheres, through the close examination of the notion of “publicness”.
Matina Kapsali, School of Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece (coordinator)
Maria Karagianni, School of Spatial Planning and Development, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece (coordinator)
Evie Athanassiou, School of Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Athina Vitopoulou, School of Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Sabine Knierbein, Faculty of Architecture and Planning/ Future Lab, Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space, TU Wien, Austria
Angelika Gabauer, Faculty of Architecture and Planning/ Future Lab, Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space, TU Wien, Austria
Speakers to be confirmed
Eligibility and application
In order to ensure a productive urban research process, the maximum number of participants is set to 30-40 people.
The workshop is open to:
\ 12 undergraduate students from the School of Architecture and the School of Spatial Planning and Development of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Undergraduate students should be in the 4th or 5th year of their studies.
\ 10 master students with a background in urban planning, urban geography, urban studies and/or architecture.
\ Limited places can also be offered to early PhD students with a background in urban planning, urban geography, urban studies and/or architecture who will attain a more active role in the urban research process.
The workshop will also be attended by 12 master students from the Technical University of Vienna (TU-Wien).
To apply for the workshop, please send the following information to Dr Matina Kapsali (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr Maria Karagianni (email@example.com):
\ an up to date CV
\ a motivation letter (250 words), including a reference to previous experience on topics related to the workshop’s theme, reasons for interest in the workshop, relevant university courses you have attended,
\ images from studio urban planning/design projects, if applicable.