PhD project by Athanasios Lazarou
Recently, we have seen the visible role of architecture facilitating events during crises around the world. From Egypt, Turkey, Ukraine, and to the focus of this research, Athens, Greece, new protest movements have emerged to centre on public squares that link people and architecture by their contextual dependency. For Athens, these events peaked at the height of the crisis in 2011 with the raising of a protest banner on the Acropolis overlooking Bernard Tschumi’s New Acropolis Museum. Ergo, the thesis is proposing a theory of the event – the event-protest – that expands on Henri Lefebvre’s idea of space as concrete abstraction to address structural contradictions in the production of architectural space within the public/private spatialization the State.
The first part of the thesis employs Lefebvre’s philosophical discourse on The Production of Space in combination with Alain Badious’ axiomatic set theory of the evental to conduct a series of truth procedures towards a thematic survey of architectural event post-1968. To categorise the phenomenon of the event-protest as a spatial registration of change, the second part of the thesis conducts a series of case studies centring on Eurozone developments throughout the city of Athens. Specifically, the unfolding political crisis is being examined as a spatial crisis. The research analyses the contemporary and historical significance of certain spatial and social processes from the perspective of the event-protest, placing them in a phenomenological context causally related to the economic condition of a city. The thesis marks the beginning of a new event-politics of space that has its origins in an old politics of space, constructing a model of the event from a markedly architectural foundation that thinks its philosophical encounters through constructed objects.