Contemporary Theories and Applications in Design Ι: Ecology, sustainability, participation

Course Code: 
Elective Course
Teaching Hours: 
Postgraduate Programme "Architecture - Spatial Design"
Course Format: 
Design - Theory

Contemporary Theories and Applications in Design I: Ecology, sustainability, participation

  • How do design practices and the scientific field of architecture respond in relation to the challenges of an era marked by environmental, political and social crises?
  • How are lifestyles being reflected in the cities, infrastructure and the built environment and, in turn, how are spatial planning, buildings and cities shaping  prevalent societal behaviors?
  • How does all this get linked to the values of a society in terms of how it perceives nature and its relations with it?

Space and its design practices play a particularly crucial role in the shaping of relations with the environment and with involved social groups and institutions. Distribution of power, relations between the natural and urban environments, the management of manmade activities and their effects on the environment, together with methods of governance and management are all major issues. The demands of our time made today at world level make clear the complexity of these interconnections. These get reflected in various theories, from the principles of which stem practices related to cities and architecture. Each theory interprets aspects of the problem with different tools, focusing each time on specific issues of a multidimensional phenomenon, extremely difficult to understand through a single theoretical approach.  As part of architectural practices, each theory addresses one side of the problem, often downplaying or ignoring others, thus revealing a relative lack of knowledge with regard to impact on the aspects of an extremely complex reality. Therefore, a solid understanding of the panorama of these theories is crucial in an effort to produce and consolidate appropriate strategies, since they are directly or indirectly linked to the practices we adopt as scientists, professionals and citizens.

The course looks for the correlations and applications between design and contemporary areas of thought and research related to ecology and democracy, such as political ecology, permaculture, degrowth, craddle to craddle, positive development, the Transition movement, participatory planning, action research, and others. Each of these theories will be analyzed, examining the origins, the arguments and the mechanisms being employed. The ways in which design is directly or indirectly affected or involved will be explored.

The course will be conducted with lectures by the instructor and invited theorists and practitioners in specific fields related to design and planning, and associated with some of these fields of thought, research and practice. A project will be prepared with an emphasis on theoretical principles that will be discussed and implemented around a topic which will be of the choice of the participants.




Bloch, Ernst. 1985. Ουτοπία και επανάσταση. Αθήνα: Εκδόσεις Έρασμος.

Braungart, Michael, και William McDonough. 2002. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. North Point Press.

Hopkins, Rob. 2008. The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience. Chelsea Green.

Lefebvre, Henry. 2007. Δικαίωμα στην Πόλη. Αθήνα: Κουκίδα.

Lovelock, James. 2006. Η εκδίκηση της Γαίας. Μετάφραση Άγγελος Φιλιππάτος. Εκδόσεις Λιβάνης.

Morrow, Rosemary. 2015. Οδηγός περμακουλτούρας: σχεδιασμός για την αυτάρκεια και την αυτονομία μας. Μετάφραση Τίνα Λυμπέρη. Αθήνα: publications.


Suggested Greek Bibliography

Anastasopoulos, Nicholas. 2013. ‘Environmental Management and Contemporary Social and Living Formations’. Athens: NTUA. National Documentation Centre

Vaiou, Dina & Kostis Hadjimichalis. 2012. Ο χώρος στην αριστερή σκέψη. Nikos Poulantzas Institute | nisos.

Καραβίδας, Κωνσταντίνος. 1981. Το πρόβλημα της αυτονομίας: Σοσιαλισμός και κοινοτισμός.

Αθήνα: Εκδόσεις Παπαζήση.

Λατούς, Σερζ. 2008. Το στοίχημα της απο-ανάπτυξης. Θεσσαλονίκη: Εκδόσεις Βάνιας/Περάσματα.

Μοδινός, Μιχάλης. 1996. Η αρχαιολογία της ανάπτυξης. Ηράκλειο: Πανεπιστημιακές Εκδόσεις Κρήτης.

Μπούκτσιν, Μάρεϊ. 1997. Ο Μύθος του υπερπληθυσμού. Μετάφραση Σπύρος Κοτρώτσος. Αθήνα: Εκδόσεις Ελεύθερος Τύπος.

———. 2000. Τί είναι Κοινωνική Οικολογία. Μετάφραση Μάκης Κορακιανίτης. Βιβλιοπέλαγος.

Σταυρακάκης, Γιάννης, επιμ. 1998. Φύση, κοινωνία και πολιτική. Νήσος.

Τάιμπο, Κάρλος. 2012. Η πρόταση της αποανάπτυξης. Μετάφραση Νίκος Κοκκάλας. Αθήνα: Οι εκδόσεις των συναδέλφων.

Τερζάκης, Φώτης. 2003. Αποσπάσματα μίας φιλοσοφίας της φύσης. Αθήνα: Εκδόσεις futura & Φώτης Τερζάκης.