SCALE AND PLACE: EXPERIENCING CONTEMPORARY BUILT ENVIRONMENTS
In the case of a walled medieval town, surrounded by farms, the sense of place emerges almost naturally; in today’s sprawling cities, places are defined in a more personal and “arbitrary” way. For a football fan his/her city, if not the world, consists of a set of focal points carrying the essential attributes of place; these are quite different to the respective focal points perceived as such by a shopaholic or an operagoer. This is just an aspect of a much wider trend: in a world of abundant opportunities, we are able to select our friends, our source of information, our sensory inputs from an extremely wide range of sources.
Architecture has anticipated, and further contributes to, the creation of the highly selective and “personalized” way of life of today:
Huge and impressive shopping malls, holiday resorts, stadia, office complexes, each demand our full attention; they are accessed by metro or by car, both not allowing us to have limited contact with the in-between the cherry-picked points of our departure and arrival.
It may sound as an irony, but the ubiquitous human presence creates fragmented personal microcosms rather, than spatial continuums, like the ones we experience in earlier centuries’ cities: it’s a matter of scale.
Keywords: Scale, Place, Personal choices
Born in Athens, 1955. Graduate, School of Architecture, N.T.U, Athens, 1977. Dr. Techn, T. U. Graz, Austria, 1985. Professor of Theory and History of Architecture, University of Patras, Greece. His practices architecture, and has won distinctions in several architectural competitions.
He has translated into Greek and commented on Vitruvius’s De Architecturas (1997 – 1998; this edition was singled out and mentioned in the Les Belles Lettres edition of Vitruvius’ book II). His books include:
Architecture, A Historical Perspective; published in Greek (2013), English (2014), Spanish (2016); pending publication in Chinese, Albanian, and Turkish (2017).
Dwelling and Architecture (forward by Rod Hackney, past UIA president, past RIBA president); published in Greek (2008) and English (2009).
The Cities, Tomorrow; published in Greek (2002).
Athens, a European Capital City; published in Greek (1985).
He has authored papers on the history and theory of architecture published in Greek and international journals, including Revue d’Archeologie, Paris; the Bulletin of the institute of Classical Studies, London; Quaderni ticinesi, Lugano.