In today’s world of amplified social interaction and connectivity there is a need for the built environment to evolve beyond its current relatively static state. In 2012, Cipher City takes place in one of Europe’s most historical and ever‐changing cities, Athens, offering a direct engagement with design models characterized by action. In the capital of Greece, where innovation has been always a force of creativity, the programme has been hosted by the NTUA School of Architecture.

In its urban context, AA Athens presents a challenging mixture of historical diversity and current developing territories in the outskirts of the city. The act of reaching from one place to another in a continuous and fluid way therefore becomes the starting point in developing working kinetic prototypes energized by motion on horizontal planes. The workshop aims to bring out the dynamic qualities of the seemingly inanimate urban surroundings, such as urban paths, sense of orientation, topography, and bridge these with the animate qualities of the human body.

During this process, participants have the opportunity to experience the historical, contemporary, and geographical diversity of Athens during studio trips, while challenging the conventional design approach in order to break the dichotomy between the building and the urban realm. Capable of responding to external stimuli, the proposed structures will apply the concepts of motion and real‐time reaction to various parameters.

In this 10‐day computational workshop, design teams experience a diverse range of digital fabrication systems from CNC routers to 3D printers. The final archetypes are correlated with the proposals produced by the AA Istanbul Visiting School, which is exploring the contrasting agenda of verticality. The end results of one school become the design counter‐arguments for the other.


Programme Director: Alexandros Kallegias
Host School Coordinator: Dimitris Papalexopoulos, Giorgos Parmenidis
Visiting School Director: Christopher Pierce

Tutors: Alexandros Kallegias, Elif Erdine, Daghan Cam, Merate Barakat, Kensuke Hotta, Anna Laskari, Tassos Kanellos, Eirini Androutsopoulou, Athina Stavridou.

Students: Eirini Fengoudaki, Aikaterini Saraptzian, Efstratios Georgiou, Athanasios Ikonomou, Eleana Kafkala, Myrto Stenou, Ourania  Karatzouni, Katerina Papaioannou, Petros Lazaridis, Charalampos Triantos, Dafni Lada, Alexandros Kitriniaris, Lorena Dumbraveanu, Dionisios Souris, Monir Karimi, Roumpini Perakaki, Niki-Vasiliki Kolovou,Eleni Spanogianni, Niki Vergini, Sokratis Molochidis, Elina Christou, Dimitris Spyropoulos, Anastasia Patsiou-Boutoulousi, Achilleas Oikonomou, Alexandros-Paris Tsernos, Dimitra Tampaki, Vasiliki Mavrogianni, Angeliki Dimitrakopoulou, Leonidas Leonidou, Simina Dimcea, Dimitris Koutsoumpas, Myrto-Maria Barbaris.

Image Credits: Alexandros Kallegias, Elif Erdine.