Exploring and Challenging the Domestic

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Exploring and Challenging the Domestic 

Vasiliki Bakavou


Due to the evolution of technology, which brought the concept of working from home, flexibility on working hours, great reduction of the necessary working space and easier transmutation of any space to a workplace, the traditional notion of “home” gets radically altered. It is transforming from a detached shelter to a versatile, adjustable space. In such a system the limit between the public sphere and personal space becomes increasingly blurry, causing them to co-exist in several occasions. The goal of this research is to explore possible transformations of domestic space, on the premise of specific work-related requirements. Seven professions act as guidelines to the design of seven small live-work units, where the limits between the two groups of activities(public ones and personal ones) become less discernible. Each one of the seven modules is based respectively on the following concepts: observation (observatory room), isolation (room in room), organization (showcase room), collaboration (workshop room), free plane (platform room), focalization (amphitheatre room) and separation (dual room). Finally, the idea of the parasitic growth of these modules in unkempt, derelict places inside an urban web (such as empty buildings, pilotis, rooftops etc) is examined. In a future scenario the seven modules could exist autonomously, creating a new urban environment through different combinations in a vertical development.

Who influences you graphically?
In general, I would say that I have different sources of references for each project from fine arts to photography and cinematography trying new ideas and not to repeating the same moments. Actually there are a lot of things that can inspire me! However, for this project I drew my references through different kinds of graphic inspiration like the detailed axonometric drawings of Atelier Bow Wow, the playful collage work of Dogma, Fala Atelier, Office KGDVS and finally-and the most important- the atmosphere in the work of Edward Hopper and Jack Vettriano. I love that their paintings create a feeling of a mystic world that speaks itself. Needless to say, that for daily inspirations I constantly search for attractive drawings through architectural, artistic blogs and sites, or Pinterest to be kept up with current architectural representation and simultaneously, is really interesting to see the work of young architects.

You compose through collage, to what extent do you believe that this method can be applied to the larger context of architecture?
As a means to describe an idea, collage is an extremely useful and powerful technique for architecture today. Through collage one can create a new imaginary world by combining different pieces from different worlds, styles and concepts. Moreover, I truly believe that architecture representation is not about a simple description of a future space but it should be a portrayal of the atmosphere and the character of each space. Above all, collage technique allows an idea to exist beyond the limited space of an image, in contrast with the photorealistic renders, where everything is decided. Last but not least, it’s easier for a young architect to create a more personal and unique style through collaged image as the more personal and unique one’s work is, the more others will identify it.

What is your method for archiving the fragments you then use within the drawings? Are there any fixed parameters?
I usually start by imagining a storyboard that will define the final goal of the project and the kind of fragments I will search for. It’s all a matter of moods and atmospheres that each of my images will try to evoke. Then, I browse through the Internet for significant pieces for me, from cinema scenes to paintings, from photographs to abstract graphic images, in order to create my own atlas of pieces. All these small pieces are the result of a deep research for the suitable shape, size, material so as to create the final image. In the end all these elements will compose an architectural story. However, most of the times I change my mind during this research and a unique fragment could be so powerful that could change the whole story of an image. As Pablo Picasso said: ‘’I begin with the idea and then it becomes something else’’.

How does the juxtaposition of a monochromatic palette to colour influence the way an image is read?
I often use monochromatic palette when I want to focus on structural aspects, shape or texture of a space rather than color as I think that this is the best way to explain very clear a drawing, especially technical ones. For example, ‘the parasites in city’ image was meant to illustrate the relationship and the co-existence of the new architectural units with the city.
Nonetheless, it was really important to highlight the different location of each unit because that was the goal of the
drawing. I choose red colour to do something vivid so as to focus attention on these elements. Moreover, red colour, contrasts better with the monochromatic city and it brings life to the drawing. In a nutshell, each image implies a concept and the choice of the suitable palette is a crucial decision to communicate better the idea behind an image.

Whilst the perspective views are rich in atmospheric qualities, drawings as the axonometric are more bare. What is the effect and purpose for this?
The combination of the axonometric drawings and the perspective views of collages is an important part of my methodology. I use axonometric line drawings to illustrate the whole project on a technical way as they are very analytical and explain a lot of things in terms of the numbers, the scale, the shape and the relationship with other elements or the exterior environment. Furthermore, axonometric drawings are always very clear, tidy and effective. On the other hand, perspective views speak far more about the atmosphere of a space and it is really difficult to document this through drawings. Perspective images would help to feel the created space as they hold an element of mystery. Eventually, bringing together different types of drawings, the whole work becomes visually layered and the real co-exists with the imaginary.

How would one unique format help in unifying the project?
The heterogeneity of each unit was the main goal for this project, so I used different ways of representation. The combination of interior views, exterior views and overall views of the project helps in communicating the concept. I tried to give a similar feeling through the drawings and I believe that this is the factor that unifies better this work.

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Vasiliki was born and raised in Greece. He studied Architecture at Democritus University of

Thrace and received his master in Architectural Design at University of Thessaly.

The master thesis above explores the blurred boundaries between living and

working space and it oscillates between the realistic and the imaginary. His interests

move from graphic design to photography.

More about the project here:

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