The Alternative Atlas of Lesvos: an island for the world
The Alternative Atlas of Lesvos is a research project supported by the European Cultural Foundation and in collaboration with Civic that proposes to discover and communicate the many layers that make Lesvos special: it's rich cultural history, natural assets and a compassionate people, as demonstrated by the recent nomination of local actors for the nobel peace prize.
This research is an attempt to catalogue these layers to create an alternative atlas that may be used to promote the island, generate new connections and catalyse new opportunities both locally and internationally in order to accelerate positive change.
We seek to understand resident perspectives. Using a variety of research activities, events and interviews, we aim to gather information about the residents’ skills and interests, favourite spaces, local stories, and aspirations for the island. In essence, we are creating a community led master plan, an atlas of assets, initiatives, convenors and connectors, stories and hopes.
Weekly Drawing Club
Each week we focus on different subjects, techniques and approaches and classes sometimes incorporate drawing in the city. Participants are highly encouraged to lead sessions and contribute ideas.
We provide basic materials.
We meet every Tuesday at our office at 6pm.
All interests and skill levels are welcomed at this weekly meet-up.
Creative Mentoring Program
Aspiring creatives based on Lesvos have been matched with international design professionals who will support individual projects during a three month pilot program. Proteges become active members of an inspiring creative community in diverse disciplines including photography, film-making and architecture.
This program is now closed for applications.
*The research undertaken to develop this ideas was supported by the European Cultural Foundation (ECF).
Designing Alternative Tours of Lesvos
in collaboration with Oxfam.
During this two-week workshop, we developed two ideas for tours of Mytilene: a walking photography tour exploring the edges of the city, and a social tour based around games and challenges that encourage social interactions.
Participants were introduced to design thinking and brainstorming principles and developed group working skills. Both of these tours were presented as free prototype experiences open to the public who were subsequently invited to submit their feedback on how these tours could be developed.
"Message Movie" Film-making Workshop
in collaboration with Oxfam.
"Message Movies" are short films that convey a particular message or piece of information. They include important safety information, advice or share a point of view.
In this message movie workshop for beginners, participants were asked to consider issues of significance for them in their daily lives. Collectively, these movies state that 'happiness', however it is defined, is not the result of luck- but that it is something that is practiced, campaigned and fought for.
Sounds of Lesvos: an audio workshop about sound + place
in collaboration with metaLAB Harvard.
A 5 day audio and multi-sensory mapping workshop exploring personal experiences of the city of Mytilene.
Participants developed individual soundscapes, some with accompanying visualisations to express particular realities of the city. The workshop was concluded with a pop-up exhibition held at the ODD office.
Photographic Image-making Workshop
This 4 day photographic workshop brought together an international group to investigate the importance of places and the stories they tell.
Participants developed individual projects inspired by Mytilene and developed these into short photographic essays printed using cyanotype, an alternative manual printing technique.
The personal narratives were displayed to the public in a celebratory exhibition and compiled into a beautiful book by Rita Gaspar, who led the workshop.
ECF Idea Camp in Madrid
ECF's third Idea Camp, co-produced with Platoniq and the City of Madrid was a three day event bringing together 50 idea makers, guest experts and facilitators to workshop and develop projects that are aiming to build societies with greater equality, sustainability and solidarity, and a stronger sense of social justice.
We were honoured for the ODD project to be selected to participate as one of the ideas. It was an enlivening and productive few days spent with a truely inspiring group of inidividuals. More here.
Clothes Washing + Drying Research Project with Impact Through Innovation Cambridge (ITIC)
Impact Through Innovation Cambridge (ITIC) is a student society based at the University of Cambridge that brings together multidisciplinary teams of students to develop innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.
They are currently developing an off-grid clothes dryer to be distributed to sites of accommodation for refugees and migrants in Greece.
We are supporting their efforts by coordinating primary research and feedback.
Future Architecture Platform:
match-making conference in Ljubljana
Future Architecture is the first pan-European platform of architecture museums, festivals and producers, bringing ideas on the future of cities and architecture closer to the wider public.
We presented at this unique 2 day event bringing together practitioners and institutional representatives to explore potential collaborations across various Future Architecture Platform activities. More here.
Documentary Film-making Workshop
This intensive 5 day workshop for beginners brought together members from both the displaced and host community to discuss and create around themes of vulnerability, resilience and self-esteem.
Each participant created an individual short film expressing a broad range of issues from hopes and dreams, to integration in schools, to contrasts in experiences of the built environment.
Participants were surprised to discover the similarities they shared in their experiences of these concepts.
Participatory Construction at the Olive Grove
The Olive Grove is a collaborative program facilitated by ODD as part of a Danish Red Cross Psychosocial Support Initiative. It engages men to create an outdoor cinema and gym next to Moria camp on Lesvos.
ODD devised a community based program engaging the target group in twice-weekly design and light construction training sessions including: proper tool usage and care, safety, and reading/ creating technical drawings.
Working with a small group of residents from Kara Tepe camp, we ran a short series of mini-projects to test interest levels and identify the priorities and focus areas considered to be important, focusing on how we could collectively create positive change.
Participants emphasised the importance of having a professional place of work to go to and that they enjoyed the collaborative nature of the way projects were conceived and delivered.
The test also highlighted a desire to leave the camp grounds and that they felt a sense of isolation from the local Greek community.