The Tomorrows exhibition (17 May – 16 Jul 2017, Diplareios School – Theatrou sq 3, Athens centre), focuses on the multiple aspects the future presents today. It features works by artists, architects and designers who tell stories about tomorrow’s possible worlds, discussing the fears and hopes of their inhabitants. Trends of the present provide a starting point for hypothetical—and often exaggerated—scenarios. The narratives refer to technonatural environments, new types of shells for the human and other living beings, upcoming networks and infrastructures, the emergence of a data-driven society, and the redefinition of the role of the human in relation to nature and technology. The show includes video installations and architectural narratives; drafts, plans and prototypes; small-scale mock ups and models of hypothetical systems; wearables and 3D print-outs. Through different hypotheses and stories addressing the future, the show seeks to spotlight practices, methods and tools which encourage a critical engagement with changes happening already in the present.

As the exhibition curators put it “the future never felt closer than it does today. A series of enviromental, technological, and cocial shifts are changing the planet, forcing us to reasses our place on it. The Earth resembles a city which keeps on sprawling outwards while other areas are abandoned due to climate change and extreme socio-political conditions. Life in the urban enviroment is reorganized thanks to intelligent systems constantly processing human and machinic behaviour. Artificial ecologies promise to offer solutions to the problems of the ever-growing global population. As diverse images, once belonging to the fuuture, become more and more part of the present, an urge to understand the ongoing phenomena becomes apparent…”

Constantinos Doxiadis EcumenopolisConstantinos A. Doxiadis: Ecumenopolis (1967)

The exhibition features 33 individual and group projects. Two important works from the nineteen sixties stand out: Electronic Urbanism by the architect Takis Ch. Zenetos and Ecumenopolis by the architect and urban planner, Constantinos A. Doxiadis.

The exhibition takes as a starting and a reference point the Ecumenopolis, the city that by the 22nd century would have occupied the whole of the ihabited planet. According to the visionary city palnner, the desirable development of the future city for the human and the enviroment was based on the relation and balance detween five fundamental elements, i.e. nature, shells, networks, society and anthropos [the human]. The five elements of Doxiadis’ Science of Human Settlements (Ekistiks) are used in the context of this exhibition to study the components of the future, and also to render understandable the changes in our expectations for the future. Five themes deriving from the five respective elements become, therefore, points of exploration; they are used as basic notions for the exhibition, and not as strict categories. This way, the fundamental elements of Doxiadis are transformed, redined, and possibly reversed, while returning to one key and central question: Which fututre is, at the end, the one we want, and what will our role within its formation?

The participants include the architect Liam Young, showing a new video installation produced by the Onassis Cultural Centre and based on a workshop held in Athens in March. Artists including Pinar Yoldas, the !Mediengruppe Bitnik, Morehshin Allahyari & Daniel Rourke and Lina Theodorou; architects including the AREA (Architecture Research Athens) group, Aristide Antonas and Design Earth; designers such as Metahaven, Adam Harvey and Behnaz Farahi. University departments of Architecture and Design, such as Michael Young’s Advanced Studio at Yale and Penelope Haralambidou’s and Michael Tite’s MArch Unit 24 at London’s Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

The event is hosted by the Onassis Cultural Centre Athens and curated by: Daphne Dragona and Panos Dragonas.

Read more: Tomorrows – Urban fictions for possible futures;  Takis Zenetos. Unbuilt TropesConstantinos Doxiadis: EcumenopolisBookshelf: Exploring Greek Architecture

zenetos12Takis Ch. Zenetos: Electronic Urbanism Project (1962-1974)