ARCH: evolution of forgotten – ignored wisdoms


The rapid developments of the urban realms and the monstrous evolution of the socioeconomic systems together with the invading globalization deprived the people from the sustainable way of living which was forged by local conditions through the centuries.

The workshop will revisit existing, forgotten or lost worlds and traditions or vernacular architecture not nostalgically, not just to revitalise them. But rather to rediscover cultures, and vanished wisdoms to facilitate their evolution into the contemporary world.

Traditional elements such as courtyard typologies, shading devices of Mashrabiyas, traditional irrigational systems and building technologies are among a vast number of traditional wisdom that either was forced to extinction or to a dormant state.

The students are asked to revisit those ‘dusted’ wisdoms, reconstruct them and reuse them in their evolved metamorphosis in the ever changing and rapidly developing urban built environments for a future of environmental and social sustainability of regional identities.



To understand and experience the unique architectural qualities of forgotten traditional elements and mechanisms

To share knowledge and insights from diverse cultural backgrounds

To develop awareness, knowledge and understanding of extracted wisdom from traditional elements and their potential role in contemporary architecture

To develop a critical approach towards sustainability and an environmental awareness [of traditional wisdoms and vernacular architecture], as integral parts of a design process.

To amalgamate research findings in order to stitch, integrate and embed those findings in innovative and radical ways in the future architectural and urban realms.

To take a stance, and a voice of resistance for a substantial future for humanities against the devouring globalizations and erasures of identities.



E L E M E N T   S T U D Y    [space, mechanisms, infrastructures, materiality, technology]


  • Analysing and assessing existing condition
  • Drawing and making experimentations
  • Discovering spaces & relationships through a specific methodology
  • Loose and Accurate methods of representation allowing different information to be revealed
  • Chance
  • Evolution

The intension is to create a new reading of the ELEMENTS which can be seen in various configurations and scales. Experimentation will be tested through hybrid drawings.

Transformation of the technical drawing becomes a device to read the different parameters and qualities of the dis- assembled and evolved elements.

Students will develop a series of creative work starting from an existing situation (photo, drawing etc) and leading gradually to a hybrid drawing. Emphasis will be given to the evolution through the layers / depths of the built and human topographies.

The process of drawings and results in the various stages of the development should be Recorded in a photographic sequence.

Students will be assigned to work in groups based on their categories of interest [ELEMENTS] by the end of week one.



Week one

  • Investigate, collect drawings, photos and other materials of a chosen traditional element/ wisdom [visit if possible]
  • Create a 2d drawing of the existing element based on your interest [suggestions: sectional drawing, layering techniques, photo collage, cut-outs etc]

*** Exaggerate and accentuate elements that you want to focus on

  • Choose an unexpected/contrasting existing setting [you may use previous projects, existing landscapes and buildings] where you will apply your intervention


Week two

  • Evolve forgotten wisdoms and facilitate the emergence of their evolution through testing and hybrid drawing investigations

*** Specific human activities should be presented in ‘distinguished’ (not indifferent) graphic mode, adding to the general unique (not generic) atmospheres of the interventions

*** We strongly encourage a deep dive-in into radical experimentation and provocation through alternative techniques and ways of seeing architecture



2-week Workshop.

Weekly 4–hour class Tuesday 9.00 – 13.00 CET [additional hours may be offered at a later stage]



The evaluation will be based on the following Expected Learning Outcomes:

After completion of the workshop students are expected to be able to:

  • Examine and interpret traditional and vernacular conditions in relation to their appropriation and evolution in the existing natural and built environment [material and immaterial qualities of space, ambience and innovation]
  • Use appropriate representation and presentation tools, including mixed media techniques to explore a plurality of experiences/ cultures/sites via alternative representation methods.
  • Demonstrate competence in dealing with sustainability, environmental awareness and climatic modification as integral parts of a design process.
  • Experiment with materiality and mechanisms in order to achieve an atmospheric architectural environment, having as a drive the interaction of the human body and space.
  • Identify and critically address the inherent conditions of the site, deal sensitively with the social issues as an integral part of the design process


Bibliography /

  • ‘From Shinto to Ando; studies in architectural anthropology in Japan’ / Gunter Nitscke ; Academy Press (October 29, 1993) ISBN 978-1854902894
  • ‘Modern Architecture: A Critical History’ Kenneth Frampton; Thames & Hudson; 5th edition (September 8, 2020) ISBN-13 : 978-0500204443 [ chapter on critical regionalism ]
  • Studies in Tectonic Culture: The Poetics of Construction in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Architecture ; Kenneth Frampton ; The MIT Press; Illustrated edition (October 1, 2001) / ISBN-13 : 978-0262561495
  • ‘Atmosheres’, Zumthor; Birkhäuser Architecture; 5th Printing. edition (March 17, 2006) / ISBN-13: 978-3764374952
  • Studio Mumbai El Croquis 157



University of Nicosia (CYPRUS) / Markella Menikou (

+ Maria Hadjisoteriou (

+ Yiorgos Hadjichristou (