Understanding Mesagkala



A glossary for observing (in)formalities

#StudioScenography #Master-Thesis

The study aims to implement an anatomical exercise proposed as a condition of reflection. Mesagkala, a holiday settlement, is an assemblage of personal experiences, cultural manifestations and socio-politcal tendencies, all imprinted on its built environment. The settlement and its multifaceted character reveals a condition of (in)formality expressed in the series of idio-aesthetics of its habitants. The current thesis attempts to understand this condition of (in)formality, through observation and recording , and possibly discover within it an undiscovered formality.

But what does this mean for designers? How can an overabundance of the above conditions, that both feed into and result from the design of a building, be effectively mapped? How does one address the non-architects’ design, not just as instances of spontaneity, but as instruments to document, discuss, and evaluate an undiscovered formality? How can designers work in order to explore people’s actual habits, needs and aspirations and moreover to give shape to individualized life forms?

The observation of the (in)formal elements in the residences and generally in such settlements does not aim to describe their emergence as exemplars of spontaneity and design honesty. Such a thing would entail a recommendation of reproduction of these aesthetics, possibly detached from the real conditions that fuel it. On the other hand, exactly because the (un)authorized practice is so widespread and connected with the habitation aesthetics in Greece, it would be inappropriate to ignore it and unilaterally consider that the built environment that arises from is its unaesthetic, undersigned and therefore “ugly”.

The sketching of (un)authorized ppractice necessitates a simultaneous discussion for social, political and aesthetical issues of Greek idiosyncrasy and supplies interesting observations for questions concerning the relation of Greeks with politics, the health system, the way and the use of public space in relation to the private space and the perception of concepts such as “State” and “Polity”. It is a wider topic designated occasioned by the object of research of the thesis, confirming that occupying a building means interpretation, adjustment, modification, transformation, selection and rejection. The issue is the recognition of this procedure as an imprinted process of deeper causes, that surpass the limits of architecture and design. The observation, however, of architecture has tangible characteristics and the permanence of the construction gives the advantage of repetition, re-examination and revision.

Mesagkala, through the way that the elements of skala, panosikoma, stegi, trochospito and idio-architecture form the residence, determine the variable character in the settlement and a background receptive to modifications. Potentially the above elements could be removed, extended, placed differently and in a more extreme case to be detached from the basic volume of the residence. This possibility creates an environment of game and experimentation guided by the personal desires and references.


Prof. Andreas Wenger

, Studio Scenography & Exhibition Design

Prof. Armin Blasbichler

, Studio Integrative Design

Alexandra Alexopoulou, Apostolos Kalfopoulos

, Architects