An exhibition on data and human communities from the 60s to today.
Cities, computers, and communities all feature in an exhibition presented across two episodes. With material from the Constantinos A. Doxiadis Archives and with new research into contemporary Athens, the exhibition traces how the postwar and our contemporary periods are linked through ideas about data, space, and people.
If the cities are the sum of our desires, what can machines tell us about it?
Each episode pivots around a population group and a form of information collection. In the 1960s, Doxiadis Associates ran The Human Community, a DACC-assisted study of Athenian residents that gauged their adaptation to the growth and pace of the postwar city. The exhibition includes The New Human Community, a critical restaging of Doxiadis’ survey conducted with recently arrived migrants and refugees. The exhibition tracks how our contemporary and postwar periods are linked through techniques of data extraction and accumulation. In the exhibition, these two episodes chart Greece’s emerging informational geography, locating its boundaries, borders, and the data subjects they engender.
The life and work of Constantinos Doxiadis (1913–1975) serves as a testament to the production of contemporary culture, centered on humankind, right through the Greek 20th century. An architect and urban planner who regularly put forward proposals for the urban landscape of Greece, he distinguished himself through his outreach and work across four continents. On the one hand, we have his Aspra Spitia (“White Houses”) on Paralia Distomou (“Distomo Beach”): a model settlement he designed in 1963 to house the families of “Aluminum of Greece” employees – a settlement that also featured the first urban wastewater treatment plant of its kind in the country; on the other, we have his masterplan for the city of Islamabad, and his plans for the reconstruction of Skopje after a catastrophic earthquake in 1963 – plans commissioned by the UN. On the one hand, we have his proposal for connecting the port at Lavrion to the Greek capital by rail (a transport link that never moved beyond the planning stage); on the other, we have the projects undertaken by “Doxiadis International Co. Ltd. – Consultants on Development & Ekistics” in 44 countries, with offices in the US, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ghana, Libya, and elsewhere.
Constantinos Doxiadis was a man of many facets. A modernist who approached technology and craft as a means of bringing about prosperity for humankind, and for society as a whole. The recipient of a doctorate in engineering from Charlottenburg University in Berlin [known today as Technische Universität Berlin]. Chief of the “Hephaestus” National Resistance Group during the Nazi occupation of Greece. Undersecretary and Director-General of the Hellenic Ministry of Housing and Reconstruction in post-war Greece. A man alert to the refugee experience through his family (he was born in Stanimaka, Eastern Rumelia in 1913), who experienced the 1922 Asia Minor refugee tragedy first-hand, not to mention the millions of refugees he encountered flooding into Karachi, India when he visited in 1955.
According to his theory of ekistics, anthropos (the human individual) is the most important component of a city, one that – in combination with the other four elements (nature, society, shells, and networks) – leads to a city functioning harmoniously. At the very first Delos Symposium (1963), one of twelve he would organize in total, he noted: “The aim must be to produce settlements which satisfy man not only as parent and worker but also as learner and artist and citizen.”
He was also, however, an architect open to the changes brought about by his times, while still retaining his admiration for the architectural space embodied by the ancient Greek “city”. At the Delos Eight Symposium, held in 1970, the participants had their eye on what was to come in future: “Information systems today have more power in social systems than ever because computers have magnified the capabilities of the human senses.”
Concept, Research, Curation & Design
Farzin Lotfi-Jam And Mark Wasiuta
Afroditi Panagiotakou, Prodromos Tsiavos
Grace Alli And Meera Almazrooei
New Human Community Research Coordinator
Design And Fabrication Coordination
Studioentropia Architects_ (Yota Passia | Panagiotis Roupas)
Curatorial Research And Production Team
Grace Alli, Meera Almazrooei, Jarrett Ley, Parker Limón, Austin Mcinnis
Digital Modeling Assistants
Jialiang Huang, Steven Xianxing Liu, Arseny Pekurovsky, Elina Varouxaki, Adam Lingjia Wang, Gina (Yiqing) Wei, Zifan Zhu
Modelling Assembly Assistants
Panagiotis Athanasiou, Elina Varouxaki, Emmanouela Lygerou, Valentina Farantouri
New Human Community Athens Team
Christos Lazaridis, Nasruddin Nizami, Angeliki Stamataki
Head Of Production
Head Of Line Production
Deputy Technical Director
With Special Thanks To
Polina Kosmadaki, Giota Pavlidou, Yorgos Tzirtzilakis
Commissioned And Produced By
The Onassis Stegi
Organized In Partnership With
Constantinos A. Doxiadis Archives & Constantinos And Emma Doxiadis Foundation
With The Support Of
The Greek Council For Refugees And Melissa Network
And With Additional Support From The Graham Foundation