creative practice research

ricerca prattica creativa

The following was a presentation for an interview as a candidate (one of 5 finalists) for the ADAPT-r Call for Experienced Researcher in Creative Practice Research (FP7 Marie Curie), taking place in Brussels, Belgium (July 8th, 2013).
Il seguente è stata una presentazione per un colloquio come candidato (uno dei 5 finalisti) per il Call ADAPT-r; ricercatore esperto in Ricerca Prattica Creativa (FP7 Marie Curie),  a Bruxelles, Belgio (8 luglio 2013).
ADAPT-r_SL_1This journey is an architectural and artful research in finding ways to illustrate the perception of public open spaces in the urban environments, through two and three dimensional illustrations, based on theoretical analysis of space design evolution.
ADAPT-r_SL_2 Early in my architectural studies and through master projects in the United States, I took interest in the perception of an idea through its expressive form […]
ADAPT-r_SL_3  […] leading me to work on a masters thesis expressed through the programmatic theme of an International Home for Video Game playing, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_4 […] situated in Hawaii – the middle point between the Californian haven for this topic, and the Japanese nucleus of technological innovation.  On an island that perceives multiple images of fictional paradise and architectural innovation, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_5 […] I took pleasure in sketching and painting through experimentation of the wave form, the structural sequencing that a video game withholds, and the evolution of an organic line; […]
ADAPT-r_SL_6 […] arriving to three dimensional mini-sculptural experimentations of this evolution, and developing the final design primarily through hand modeling, which I find a genuinely intimate experience of space formation.
ADAPT-r_SL_7 The building, playfully found its place next to the urban seaside of Honolulu.
ADAPT-r_SL_8 The progressive floor plans expressed the dislocation of mental imagination that a video game creates, allowing one to perceive views below (through transparent one-way flooring), and keeping the proceeding levels a total mystery.  Simulating the video game experience of moving up unknown levels, withholding the memory of the process, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_9 […] while externally creating the impression and expression of a sci-fi structure of organically logical movement and adventure.
ADAPT-r_SL_10 A large concern was also the structural affiliation of concept and materiality also through the use of expressive steel and titanium sheets, through a sequential structure, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_11 […] and of course the three dimensional contextual perception within the urban environment.
ADAPT-r_SL_12 At around that time, and after the contemplation of this official start of my creative architectural research journey, I found myself in Thessaloniki of Greece, searching to make connections between the fine arts, and my newly perceived architectural research passion relating to the progression of science and the understanding of our fixed and obscure surroundings.
ADAPT-r_SL_13 The perceptual expression of human portraits has been triggering my interest ever since, and it worked parallel to this research, on multiple levels, helping with my perception of places and objects, and their illustrative expression.
ADAPT-r_SL_14 Oscar Wilde said rightly so that every portrait is an expression of the artist, and not of the sitter, and so to learn how to perceive and illustratively represent, one must understand things better for oneself.
ADAPT-r_SL_15 So before the courses resumed at the Mediterranean College, where I was teaching at that time, I took a one week trip to Florence, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_16 […] spending many many hours visiting the different galleries, perceiving others’ perceptions on human expression […]
ADAPT-r_SL_17 […] and duplicating the sculptural pieces that decorated the urban home.
ADAPT-r_SL_18 Upon my return, my fresh experiences offered a new understanding that still had to be investigated.  Italy had become inspiring, and I was instinctively led to apply for doctoral studies at the Politecnico di Milano, suggesting Civic Art as my nucleus-topic of interest.
ADAPT-r_SL_19 I received a first place international scholarship in the department of Urban and Architectural Design, beginning a strong cycle of experimental research, participation in international workshops, and conference presentations across Europe.
ADAPT-r_SL_20 A groundbreaking  two-week workshop in Bergamo found me making paintings for the expression and understanding of urban limits and intervals […]
ADAPT-r_SL_21 […] for the definition of public open urban spaces […]
ADAPT-r_SL_22 […] in the process of creating an urban and architectural design through the expression of positional values, urban facts, public elements, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_23 […] the use of paths, matrices and perceptual studies of the vertical layers – all of which started to define concepts for my final thesis dissertation on the syntax of the public open urban space.
ADAPT-r_SL_24 Other key concepts involved the construction and use of visual characteristics and expression, which helped me enhance my portrait speculations, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_25 […] also through the investigation of expressional movement through space.
ADAPT-r_SL_26 This movement of an expanding urban expression transferred over to another workshop on the expanding peripheral illustrations of the public open urban spaces of south-western Milan […]
ADAPT-r_SL_27 […] in which I initiated the study by seeking to illustrate the expanding voids, greens, built space, and different neighborhood districts, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_28 […] combining the findings with the superimpositions of historical maps on built and infrastructural expansion […]
ADAPT-r_SL_29 […] while deepening the analysis on a selected historically strong line of the Naviglio strip, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_30 […] contemplating on the ideational function of a space and the degree of perceptual safety […]
ADAPT-r_SL_31 […] through the definition of ‘bound’ and ‘unbound’ spaces […]
ADAPT-r_SL_32 […] where in the first case one feels restricted and smothered within the urban context […]
ADAPT-r_SL_33 […] and in the other case one might feel vulnerable or free.
ADAPT-r_SL_34 Next, I visited a specific public square, Tirana, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_35 […] seeking to illustrate its perceptual feel through diagrams and sequential visual schemes.  This was the beginning of my ongoing interest of on-field perceptual investigation.
ADAPT-r_SL_36 A further step was the workshop on the redevelopment of Placa de les Glories Catalanes in Barcelona, illustrating important keywords […]
ADAPT-r_SL_37 […] on the layering of city ruins, traces and signs, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_38 […] the definition and two dimensional representations of nodes, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_39 […] and the presence of an axis, of joint networks, and transit spaces.
ADAPT-r_SL_40 The progressive incorporation of all the analytic schemes led to the contemplated design of […]
ADAPT-r_SL_41 […] a master plan and architectural project of a multi-use complex program […]
ADAPT-r_SL_42 […] that creates perceptual dialogues with the other high-rises through the interplay of vertical and horizontal circulation.
ADAPT-r_SL_43 This project was the beginning of the investigation of the sign, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_44 […] and the parallel creation of works of more semiotic meanings;
ADAPT-r_SL_45 yet still experimenting with the pure expression of portraiture art.
ADAPT-r_SL_46 From Milano, I went to Thessaloniki for a one-week workshop with George Hargreaves from London, to experiment with illustrations on the definition of an ecological corridor, working on urban sustainability.
ADAPT-r_SL_47 I took what I learned form the Italian workshops to superimpose historical and evolutional maps of the city’s structure, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_48 […] to understand the sense of shifting, the changing of urban morphologies, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_49 […] and the meaning of forces of ‘degeneration’, ‘permanence’ and ‘transformation’.
ADAPT-r_SL_50 The design expressed the hybridization of natural and cultural systems on an interconnected scale, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_51 […] considering instrumental land forms, flood flows, pedestrian movement and the formative processes of the site.
ADAPT-r_SL_53 Therefore, perceptual understanding took a deeper dimension also in art, through more profound anatomical expression that perhaps also reflected through portraiture expression.
ADAPT-r_SL_52 Most importantly, urban perception started to take its illustrative form, founding the base for my doctoral thesis and true genuine interest, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_54 […] where I wandered through all the public open urban spaces of Milano, seeking to find two dimensional illustrative means of three dimensional perceptual and semiotic schemes, expressing specific clues […]
ADAPT-r_SL_55 […] that to my eyes, blended architecture and nature through cerebral moments of monochrome visions […]
ADAPT-r_SL_56 […] expressed through orienting paths and mirror images of interpretation (similar to Oscar Wilde’s writings on portraiture expression, and the importance of the artist’s understanding on what he sees).
ADAPT-r_SL_57 (At times, I wondered what would happen if I inverted my point of view in the color-sense, and while doing this, the result never fails to fascinate me).
ADAPT-r_SL_58 Gathering these experiences, I decided to concentrate my research on perceptual understanding of spaces;
ADAPT-r_SL_59 titling the thesis; The Architecture of Public Open Urban Space; 
ADAPT-r_SL_60 How to Define a Syntax in the Contemporary Urban Environment; 
ADAPT-r_SL_61 The goal was to understand the structural evolution of the public space since modernity, and create syntactic representations and suggestions for new design interventions.
ADAPT-r_SL_62 The completed work is split into three parts; Theoretical, Analytical and Experimental. The theory is based on fundamental bibliography of the milanese school on urban and architectural design to form a basis of keywords, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_64 […] through the investigation of art in relation to the public open urban space […]
ADAPT-r_SL_65 […] and space syntax in the contemporary urban environment;
ADAPT-r_SL_66 through the theoretical points of view of critical figures, on space perception as an artistic means, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_67  […] signs and symbolism, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_68 […] land art and earthworks, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_69 […] perceptual security […]
ADAPT-r_SL_70 […] urban perception in pieces of art, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_71 […] layers of spatial composition and their meaning, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_72 […] information availability and open space minimalism, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_73  […] structure, framing and the ‘logic of the limit’, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_74 […] field perception, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_75 […] object relationships, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_76 […] concept and theme, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_77 […] the role of the ground, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_78 […] salience and articulation, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_79 […] and orientation and path.
ADAPT-r_SL_80 The second and analytical part, deals with schemes on the paradigmatic shift of public open urban space design that took place from 1951 in the CIAM8 Congress of Hoddesdon, and progressing with the Team 10 designs until 1966, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_81 […] studying syntactic elements of organizing typologies, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_82 […] elements of boundaries and framing, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_83 […] orientation, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_84 […] field perception, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_85 […] framing, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_86 […] structure and path, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_87 […] the influence and redesign of the infrastructure, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_88 […] and the superimposition of layerings.
ADAPT-r_SL_89 These schemes form extractions of a theoretical framework of the public open urban spaces that continued to take shape throughout modernity, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_90 […] in search of new vocabularies of space communication […]
ADAPT-r_SL_91 […] and thematic strength of design.
ADAPT-r_SL_92 Through these, there is an evolutional understanding of the repeating keywords of salience and articulation, orientation and path, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_93 […] infrastructure, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_94 […] framing, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_95 […]
ADAPT-r_SL_96 […] layering, structure, field, ground, and space articulation.
ADAPT-r_SL_97 The next step became the contemplation of these words when dealing with interventions in historical places, in which I found myself all the time -
ADAPT-r_SL_98 and being located in Milano, helped me through this process… as I circulated by bicycle along all the perimetric infrastructural rings of the central city, studying in person and intimately one by one, all the public open urban spaces, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_99 […]… to define perceptual structures, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_100  […] visual boundaries […]
ADAPT-r_SL_101 […] and vectors of compositional values.
ADAPT-r_SL_102 The schemes serve the purposes of density and tension studies in relation to the surrounding elements […]
ADAPT-r_SL_103 […] and in visual interpretation of shape and certain levels of character.
ADAPT-r_SL_104 The conclusion may lead one to start categorizing towards the definition of spaces of mobilization, expanded spaces, fragmented spaces, or spaces that start to lose a defined center.  This helps clarify between the organic or spontaneous formation of the civic space, establish a degree of geometric rigor, and offer new interpretations of urban coherence and order.
ADAPT-r_SL_105 A similar study but with different interpretative diagrams was done for the Thissio Park in Athens […]
ADAPT-r_SL_106 […] expressing the ground as a sculptural means of strong morphological features that take leadership in reference to the visual fields of this historical area, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_107 […] finding synthetic methods of a self-organizing system where each particle is affected by its behavior and its deeper semiotic significance.
ADAPT-r_SL_108 The final project is a synthesis of the doctoral thesis investigations, demonstrating a methodology of design for the expression of civic art as a mosaic of cultures.
ADAPT-r_SL_109 The site, falling on the perimeter of a greater open public ring, represents the continuation of a mosaic of open public spaces, forming dwellings for the visitors.
ADAPT-r_SL_110 The main challenge was to draw a structural basis from the surrounding morphology and system of urban compositions.
ADAPT-r_SL_111 Dealing with a synthetic, and yet repetitious structure, the goal was to create open public spaces based on a unified structural logic, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_112 […] (an experimentation that started mainly through three dimensional hand-modeling) […]
ADAPT-r_SL_113 […] later progressing into a fixed architecture of a circulation system that incorporates playful ‘mental sets’ of diagonally vertical penetrations.
ADAPT-r_SL_114 This is best illustrated through three dimensional wire-frame perception of the design, and transparent vision of what hides underneath, beneath, and through a set of spaces.
ADAPT-r_SL_115 This means of illustration is conclusive to the research on layering and transparency of a space’s history and structure […]
ADAPT-r_SL_116 […] which a visitor should be able to grasp, while walking through, and the architect should understand, when designing further interventions, for a more successful urban implementation.
ADAPT-r_SL_117 Similar to how the understanding and illustration of human anatomy… […]
ADAPT-r_SL_118 … […] helps through the better expression of feelings and emotional perception in art.
ADAPT-r_SL_119 When one understands the essence of human motion and behavior, a more artful expression of the universe takes place.
ADAPT-r_SL_120 No matter where our adventurous practice evolves at each moment;
ADAPT-r_SL_121 and regardless the subjects (or objects) of focus.
ADAPT-r_SL_122 Sometimes situations become more challenging […]


ADAPT-r_SL_123  […] as in my latest research work of promoting the South-Eastern European cultural route of 20th century Architecture of Totalitarian Regimes.
 ADAPT-r_SL_124  In pursuit of the economic valorization of architecture built during dictatorship rule, I studied deeper on sustainable growth, and heritage semiosis, iconographic decumentation and multi dimensional perception […]
ADAPT-r_SL_125   […] to justify these entities’ Beings and evolutionary process.  This very memory expression is the four dimensionality of space perception […]
ADAPT-r_SL_126  […] that is practiced through the identification, collection and digital cataloging of objects relating to these buildings, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_127  […] including intangible heritage collection such as furniture and clothing, […]
ADAPT-r_SL_128  […] and always seeking to spread the knowledge for the understanding of this challenging period through architectural monuments.
ADAPT-r_SL_129 Challenging perceptions helped me express in a more enigmatic way my perception on unresolved matters […]
ADAPT-r_SL_130 […] where the image of something might hide a different meaning of what we initially perceive, similar to Luigi Pirandello’s speculations on the mask that we all instinctively wear in everyday society.
ADAPT-r_SL_131 Where persons might be less, or more than what they appear […]
ADAPT-r_SL_132 […] and where even anatomical schemes may show us two different sides of meaning and function.
ADAPT-r_SL_133 The perception of a simple shape may become synthetic and show us something new, even through partly monochrome vision […]
ADAPT-r_SL_134 […] while the same shape may lead one to perceive even a whole story.
ADAPT-r_SL_135 Through the constant search, extraction and expression of structural configurations […]
ADAPT-r_SL_136 […] there will always be interesting expressions of perception in art […]
ADAPT-r_SL_137 … […] and therefore in architectural creative design, within venturous urban contexts.


(So happy venturing to us all.)
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