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  • Infrastructures of solidarity and care in Athens (2010-2020): Social movements, prototypical designs, and protocol systems

Hasa, Elisavet, 2021, Thesis, Infrastructures of solidarity and care in Athens (2010-2020): Social movements, prototypical designs, and protocol systems PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

My research explores the engagement of numerous social movements in the emancipatory solidarity movement for care provision (healthcare, housing, food, education) in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, and their activism as part of the anti-austerity movement.

Focusing on Athens, Greece, my main hypothesis is that institutional structures monitor the spatial manifestation of the activities of social movements through data quantification systems — such as templates, matrices, legal and administrative protocols and portals — but, most importantly, require social movements to produce design work and architectural drawings. Alongside an in-depth discussion of how spatiality interplays with the concept of the institutionalisation of the activities of social movements, I investigate through architecture the system-building symptom of these initially small-scale autonomous infrastructures and their attempt to scale up the spatial, organisational and technical systems that originated in one place, growing in response to particular survival needs but also to ecological, legal, political, and institutional demands.

One of the main arguments of my thesis is that during the past decade, social movements are wiring the activities of their spaces with the devices, networks or architectures that they deem worthy of contestation or concern. From decentralised spaces and domestic sites diffused across the city to concentrated consolidations of social movements in the same area, infrastructural projects of solidarity and care have become techno-material artefacts that social movements have taken upon themselves to plan, design, service and maintain, make visible or conceal. I claim that such interventions signal the rise of protocol systems and the design of prototypes to capture the needs, design methods and relationships between different subjects and space. This is a fact that speaks for the transformation of the urban syntax and architecture, directly challenges the public qualities of welfare infrastructure and institutions and reflects the power of solidarity bodies that enable another way of creating infrastructure.

By charting an inclusive history of their activities, including political activism and spatial occupation, my empirical work highlights new networks of exchange among social movements, argues for their agency in design histories, and aims to link the multiple forms of resistance as they have developed, connecting these otherwise dispersed geographies to solidarity organising elsewhere to argue about a network of social movements centred on solidarity and care.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Architecture > K100 Architecture
School or Centre: School of Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: Architecture; social movements; Athens; solidarity; crisis
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2022 13:26
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2022 13:26
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/5059
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