Exhibition Design of ‘Slow Down Rooms’

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

Slow Down Rooms exhibition presents 8 site-specific installations of emerging artists who explore various materials through the philosophy of recycling and handmade process. Color, gesso, recycled or handmade paper, garbage and dust, weaving and sewing techniques, use of food condiments and natural fibres, mirror and photographic fragments are used to create specifically commissioned art environments.

Slow Down Rooms along with Ethics/Aesthetics and Athens Here and Now form the exhibition AAO: Ethics/Aesthetics at the Benaki Museum with 32 exhibits and surface area of 1200 sqm.

Design Challenges of AAO: Ethics/Aesthetics:

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

2. The three exhibitions include architecture, art and design works presented through videos, installations, objects and print-out panels. This diversity presented the challenge of finding the way in which a single concept could unfold, and a unified experience be achieved, yet with a controlled degree of diversity between the three exhibitions. Therefore, main decision is to base the design on one strong element, the Unit, that unifies all the exhibits. Its variations allow a different experience in each exhibition, but 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.

2. Creating a linear movement passing through the three exhibitions so as to allow visitors read the continuous thematic narrative of the first (Ethics/Aesthetics), seeing related experimental student work in the second (Athens Here and Now), and relaxing in the art environment of the third (Slow Down Rooms). Before exiting, the space was designed for performance actions.

3. Presenting each exhibit in an autonomous unit with dimensions 2,5m (W) x 2,5m (D) X 2,5m (H). The unit’s fourth vertical wall leans on floor, creating the entrance and taking on it the information about it.

4. 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.

Design principles of Slow Down Rooms within AAO:

Each unit, while of standard dimensions, presents variations so to allow the display of 8 in-situ installations. In Slow Down Rooms, artists can change if they want the height as well as of elements of the unit, but not of its footprint. Thus, interesting variations of the unit appear.

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

Artists: Penny Gheka; Georgia Gremouti; Eleni Karayanni; Panos Kombis; Elena Papadimitriou; Apostolos Papageorgiou; Christos Simatos; Dimitris Skouroyannis; Vangelis Theodoridis; Amalia Stavroulaki; Marios Angelos Voutsinas. Curator: Iris Kritikou, Lina Stergiou.

Photos: Dimitris Giannoulakis


Silver Novum Design Award 2019

Longlist WIN Awards 2015, Museum and Exhibition Spaces

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