Architects: Evdokia Selianitis | Elli - Helen Kapsanaki
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Participation in the International Architecture Competition of ideas of the UIA: "Utopia and/or happiness in your own elsewhere". Team: Kapsanaki Elli (Eleni), Koutsaftaki Efthymia, Selianiti Evdokia and Herianidou Elina (2014)


The Way to Utopia-educational game for students of architecture”


We are in a very critical period, probably of radical changes for humanity. Contrasts are explosive and concern all levels of life, while dreams seem to have been ruined and hopes to have been lost. Poverty, hunger, inequalities, injustice, contradictions, wars, ecological disaster, disastrous way of production and living. Against this human, financial and environmental global crisis, the quest for a way out cannot be postponed. Both humanity and the planet are getting to a breakpoint. Humanity must alternate its course. In our opinion the only answer is a collective dream and action for a new fair and beautiful world of all.

According to our project, Utopia is not a static image, it is a path, not always straight, towards the dream for a world of happiness of all. This path has no end, it is a way of thinking, a way of life, it is a constant quest of utopia’s utopia. What is desired is the journey and whatever is gained on the way, is the benefit of our achievements. Trying to get the world just a step closer to utopia, we set it in “The Way to Utopia”.

The Way to Utopia” is an educational team game-workshop for students of architecture. In the game’s story we are placed in the world of Homo Consumus, the man of today and his problematic world. Nevertheless, some Homo Cosumus, the student/players, start dreaming and they enter the game, rejecting the dominant “Grey Values” (Individualism, Oligarchy, Overconsumption) that lead to a dead end and they adopt the ”Red Values” of their way (Fellowship, Justice, Ecology). As students start their journey, are confronted with characteristic problems of the era, organized in five conceptual units. Using the recomented tools, which are mostly based on the utilization of the existing structures, and two other of their choise, they are called to solve the problems-workshops. Many times the solutions are hidden in the existing reality as two parts that complement each other. The game process steps together with the evolution of Homo Consumus-lonely consumer man to Homo Happiness-socialized, utopian man. All the projects are placed on the board and become part of “The Way to Utopia”. When the illustrated route is completed, a puzzle of proposals has been formed as a collective proposal and action, which is the result of all students projects. Simultaneously, students learn to seek Utopia and seek it collectively. They get in touch with this way of thinking, this way of life. “The Way to Utopia” is an active form, an experimental action, that can produce new ideas and new proposals in its every route and every time new and different problems can be placed on board. Therefore, the final image of each round is always different and unique.

In our opinion, Utopia is that architects, even during their education, must learn to seek and work for Utopia, so as working architects will keep on with these values, to fulfill their social role.