Ifigeneia Liangi (UCL) - 2016-17 Students

The Architectural Novel: A study on the Greek spaces of magical realism

Athens is a city where according to Eugene Trivizas ‘Myth precedes, reality follows, and imagination is not only infinite, it is also cheap’. The crisis devastated the capital on multiple levels. Three types of spaces spreading throughout its centre have qualities and potential for a radical change: the Stoa (Arcade), the Taratsa (Terrace) and the Akalyptos, the uncovered spaces in between the blocks of flats. My design research project will start from studying Dr Trivizas, Sociologist, Professor of Criminology and father figure of the Greek children’s book, having created over than 150 worlds of the imagination. Studying his use of rhetorical tropes and allegory, as well as the first Greek comic-strip book and televised puppet show Fruitopia, (first published in 1983), I will investigate the architecture of his tales. Contemporary magical realism in animation and film, from directors Sylvain Chomet, Michel Gondry, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and Yorgos Lanthimos will be key to my design research. Revisiting the spaces of Stoa, Taratsa, and Akalyptos, I will start by writing and illustrating ideas of Factual Fictions discussed by Lennard J. Davis, (fiction as making up and fiction as making with), suggesting that the architectural novel can be a propositional and critical spatial act.

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