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Periplus Workshop, Kardamyli, Greece

Togetherness in design

The Periplus workshop (July 2022) is not just a memory; I aim to implement the learnings and share ideas in my teaching through exploration, design, and context for a unique design experience. This is the way I experienced the ‘Periplus Workshop’ with international colleagues, where we developed individual design approaches connected to the local context. The workshop took place in Karadmyli, Greece and at the end of the intensive design week, we presented our work at the local school of Kardamyli, a traditional stone building of exceptional architectural beauty. In my view participating in the design workshop was an experience of place, design, and people.

Our residency for the week was hidden away at the mount Taygetos foothill and there were no other man-made structures on the horizon. The view was breathtaking and I like my colleagues were immersed and immediately connected to the natural environment, a relaxing and beautiful experience. The design brief had a very open and diverse approach each one developed its own brief. We had full access to the design lab and the materials provided, which were all collected from the surrounding area. Each designer used their own skills and agenda; for example, as an architect, I was inspired to design shading devices using local materials. This was because being in the natural environment of Kardamyli, made me think that there is a wealth of materials, design technics, and aesthetics already available. Not just the availability of these, but also, using local materials would provide visual connections to the history and culture of the area.

The Periplus workshop offered me a different view on design: I realised how much design is related to people. I believe now that people’s involvement is not just as the visual of a piece of a beautiful creation. At the end of this expedition, it became clear that togetherness is probably the main element of the design process. The participants came from all around the world and instantly connected on a professional level with a strong sense of friendship. During the workshop, we worked with those materials that have been around for thousands of years, connecting us to the people using them for centuries. For example, the olive tree has been generously offering olive tree goods. The feeling of presenting these design elements during the exhibition was a way to be understood, accepted, and connect once more with people currently living in the area.

Overall, each participant’s experience is unique; nevertheless, we shared this design expedition together while the bright Greek sun will light up our shared memories.