Pre-Organised Special Sessions

To be competed with more special sessions soon...

Assoc. Prof. Elena Konstantinidou & Prof. Em. Konstantinos Moraitis

Title: The Memory of Places: Built Environment, Cultural Landscape and Historico-political Identity


Co - Chairs:

Assoc. Prof. Elena Konstantinidou, National Technical University Athens, School of Architecture, Greece

Prof. Em. Konstantinos Moraitis, National Technical University Athens, School of Architecture, Greece



Collective memory may be considered as a key element for the formation of social identity; social conscience and places of social reference are connected, correlated to it.

Therefore landscape, the natural as well as the built space substratum, may be described as the par excellence field, the ‘screen’ for the projection of memory. Natural landscape as well as urban landscape, both of them, acquire their ’validity’ in cultural or political terms, thanks to intangible elements of mnemonic importance, associated with specific historical characteristics, beliefs and ideological premises of a given social group or a given society.

Memory ’needs‘the place; it is important to be projected on it. On the opposite direction of influence, places acquire identity not through their material substance solely, but also through intangible processes, through conceptual schemes, through imaginary and ideological formations, collective desires or even phobias, and surely through collective memories. We could thus describe the relationship between memory and locality as a two-way process; a process of loan and counter-loan approaches.

It is in the previous context that the session proposed has to deal with the ’emplacement’ of memory, the relationship of collective memory with place; the latter being accepted as an important, determining factor for the formation of mnemonic structures. The way collective memory is recorded in space, in general but also in particular in the built environment, has to be examined through the contributions of the participants; the way memory is correlated with the identity of a place, defining, redefining, highlighting, or even effacing parts of previous mnemonic approaches.

Let us pose a final decisive theoretical question to the future lecturers: how does memory affect the place as well as the time feeling, what is its spatiotemporal imprint?

Let us also describe in addition, minor issues of reference that may be associated to the central subject of the session:

  • Collective memory (the need to create historical/collective memory).
  • Identity (identification methodologies as well as promotion and management strategies concerning cultural and political identity of social groups and important place references correlated to them).
  • Spatial expressions of memory (the concept of memory as expressed in place formation).
  • Visual references (perception of identity in a natural or culturally structured space), or ideological references, or both of them.
  • How does collective memory affect space and vice versa; how does space shape collective memory?
  • Relationship between memory, space, and design approaches.
  • Relationship between memory and identity.

All the above issues may be explored in different places, as for example: Places of Tradition, Places of History, Places of Conflict, Places of Refuge etc.

Moreover, let us offer a final indicative comment, and remark that in the context of the present socio-economic and political reality (pandemics, political and economic crisis, population movements, refugees’ continuous flux from peripheral to central countries, etc.), the issue of memory, the cultural and political need for its careful management appears to be crucial.





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