Thinking in a Bigger Scale: The Maze as a Red Carpet of Change
Who influences you graphically?
There are multiple influences that define the graphic character of my work. Mies van der Rohe was a pioneer in using the technique of collage to present his projects. His tendency for abstraction and his attention to detail were always an inspiration for my work. On the other hand, my graphic approach is also influenced by the work of paper architects of the 60s such as Archizoom, Superstudio and Yona Friedman. These architects produced radical projects where the graphic representation was vital to form a critical position towards architecture and society in general.
What role does colour play and how do you use it to highlight certain aspects within a drawing?
Colour is a powerful tool to form compositions that move beyond the physical representation of reality. In my work, colour forms the actual drawings since there are no hard lines to define the boundaries of the perspective. Specific colours are also used to highlight key elements of the composition. In the case of Athens_City of Crossroads, red indicates the focus of the project which is the circulation elements of the city. The street enters the built mass and forms a multilevel labyrinth that acts as the thread that hold the urban fabric together. On the other hand, the absence of colour, indicates the elements of the city that are fixed and resistant to change and thus, out of the architect’s control.
You like to explore your proposals through a lot of different means, do you trust that only in this manner is it is possible to fully convey a project?
I believe that a project can be thoroughly explained even by one single drawing. However, in the case of my graduation project, I used multiple drawing techniques to represent different aspects of the design proposal. Axonometric drawings provide a complete overview of a specific idea since it shows the plan, the elevation and the three‐dimensionality of the project in one integrated drawing. Collages on the other hand, allow more space for abstraction, since they represent a perspective from a specific point in space.
You chose to use the art of collage and to juxtapose your architecture to characters from famous paintings, what is the effect of this and how does it help in conveying the use and atmosphere of your space?
Indeed, I use characters from famous paintings. Edward Hopper was an artist that greatly criticized with his work the human condition in the growing American cities. In my collages, I take the individualistic and isolated Hopperians and I place them within the collective space of the city. They become part of the street and they start to interact with each other.
What determines your graphic approach to a project, from sketches to stylized images to realistic renders?
The graphic approach depends on the nature of the project. With my graduation project, I was not interested in producing realistic renders since the project itself is not a representation of reality. I believe that paper architecture should not claim reality but should act as a critique towards specific issues of its time. In this case, the graphic approach should adopt to the message that the project aims to convey to the public.
How has photography influenced the way you perceive and look at a city and its details?
In 2012, I travelled in Europe and visited more than fifty architectural masterpieces. During this amazing experience I realized how important photography can be in understanding the multiple scales of the built environment. Photography, as a tool to frame architecture, taught me the relationship between form, landscape and light.
Dimitrios Sotiropoulos considers architecture as a multifaceted discipline which reacts within many different realms. He strongly believe on its sociopolitical responsibility as fundamentally defining the relation between the building and the city.
What is the role of the architect today? | TEDxBathUniversity