Exhibition Design of ‘AAO: Ethics/Aesthetics’

Benaki Museum Athens, Pireos Street Annex
8 June – 31 July 2011

Architect: Lina Stergiou
Collaborating architect: Aris Zambikos
Project architect team: Evelina Rempi
Chrysi Gousiou, Antonis Chazapis
Lighting: Diathlasis – Architectural Lighting

In the Museum’s groundfloor gallery, of 1200 sqm, the exhibition of three shows takes place: Ethics/Aesthetics, Slow Down Rooms and Athens Here and Now, with the display of 32 objects, panels, video projections and installations forming the exhibition AAO:Ethics/Aesthetics.

Design challenges of AAO:Ethics/Aesthetics:

1. A low budget (25 Euros/sqm) and a quick assembling of the exhibition (5 working days for 1200 sqm). These were met by the decision to aim at a rough and rusty aesthetic quality, which reflects the ideology of the exhibitions, as well as by the decision to work with standardized parts and pieces.

2. The three different exhibitions include architecture, art and design works with videos, installations, objects and print-out panels. This diversity presents the challenge of finding a way in which a single concept can unfold, and a unified experience be achieved, yet with a controlled degree of diversity between the three shows. Therefore, main decision is to base the design on one strong element, the unit. The unit unifies all the exhibits; yet its variations allow a different experience in each exhibition, and also let the different types of exhibits be highlighted.

Design principles of AAO:Ethics/Aesthetics:

1. Organizing the Benaki Museum groundfloor gallery into three spaces, one for each exhibition. Creating a linear movement passing through the three shows so as to allow visitors read the continuous thematic narrative and concept of the first (Ethics/Aesthetics), seeing related experimental student work in the second (Athens Here and Now), and finally relax in the art environment of the third (Slow Down Rooms). The space before the exit is designed for an performance action events taking place during the opening hours.

2. Presenting each exhibit in an autonomous unit of 2,5m (W) x 2,5m (D) X 2,5m (H). Its fourth vertical wall leans on floor, creating the entrance to each exhibit and taking on it the information about it. Each unit, while of standard dimensions, presents variations so to allow the display of diverse types of exhibits: units without ceiling allow the display of objects, others with a ceiling form enclosed cubicles and allow video projections, and others without side walls allow installations being highlighted.

Materials: recyclable floating screed, chip-board, ecological white paint,
recycled after the closing of the exhibitions.

‘Ethics/Aesthetics’ thematic units – participants:
Activism. Groups with vision:
TEDDY CRUZ, USA, architect
ARCHITECTURE FOR HUMANITY, USA, architects
DARRYL SMITH/LAURIE LAZER, USA, artists
REBAR, USA, designers/ artists
NOMADIC ARCHITECTURE NETWORK, Greece, architects
Society & Aesthetics:
PUBLIC ARCHITECTURE, USA, architects
RECETAS URBANAS, Spain, architects
FUTUREFARMERS, USA, artists
WORLDBIKE, USA, designers
PPT_TLab, Greece, architects
Identity. Professional Ethics:
DROOG, Netherlands, designers
FRANK HAVERMANS, Netherlands, artist
SARAH WIGGLESWORTH, UK, architect
ALEXANDROS TOMBAZIS, Greece, architect
ΕΜΕCO-THE COCA-COLA COMPANY, USA, designers
Action–Reaction:
DO-HO SUH, Korea, artist
JASON MILLER, USA, designer
EELKO MOORER, UK/Netherlands, designer
JODI, Netherlands/Belgium, artists

Curator: Lina Stergiou

Photos: Dimitris Giannoulakis

Longlist WIN Awards 2015, Museum and Exhibition spaces

Published in:

Archinect
https://archinect.com/architecturestrategies/project/ethics-aesthetics-exhibition-design

Architizer
https://architizer.com/projects/aao-ethicsaesthetics-exhibition-design

Archello
https://archello.com/project/ethicsaesthetics-exhibition-design

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