We chose the word «study» and not research to show our ignorance for what we are trying to do, but also to verify that everything can be learned by everyone on his/her own if he/she wants (the ignorant schoolmaster, Jacques Rancière).
Memory - Change - Imagination
Birds team takes as axes of interest the memory and the imagination (temporal axe), and the neighborhood and the rooftop (spatial axe). On the context of the temporal axe we study the limits of the personal and the collective freedom, while on the context of the spatial axe we study the limits between the private and the public space and the potentiality for the emergence of a common place. At the center of the diagram it spots the change of the neighborhood. Through discussions and sharing the team attempts to identify the reasons that can lead someone to leave for a while the streets of the neighborhood or their home and to go up on the rooftop in order to set free their imagination.
The goal of the whole process that we follow is to research the general character of the neighborhood, but also to identify its particular characteristics so as to define them at the present moment. In this way we believe that, on one hand we will be able to point them out to the people of the neighborhood, who consist the very source of study, through an open archive that will maintain the material of the study and its outcomes, and which will be discussed in open presentations. On the other hand, we believe that we will be able to integrate these outcomes in a collective experience (event/celebration) that we hope that will evoke emotions and thoughts in an individual and collective level.
From rooftop to rooftopo
With vision the rooftops of Exarcheia, birds project tries to make a first step towards the appropriation of inert spaces and the gradual transformation of the empty spaces into common places.
The commons emerge through acts of sharing and synergies. The project seeks to bring the residents of the area into communication through collective processes and discussions so as to understand and identify the social imaginary around the rooftops of Exarcheia, and to “imprint” it into everyday life.
The empty space, bearing the traces of a passing life, touches the roots of each culture and awakens the collective memory. At the same time, the empty space can bring out a mental vacuum – an unfulfilled – and mobilize the imagination and the creativity.
Thus, the rooftop, by transferring the feeling of home a step outside the sensation of “belonging” and combining it with the openness of the horizon that the public space and the liveliness of the street once brought, consists a third level which can constitute a field of potentiality for the climax of the outdoor life of the residents. There, another terrain of the city can be invented and in this way, to restore the contact we lost with the Earth. The point where the Earth and the Sky meet is where habitation is located. The rooftop as a space that is shared among the residents of each building (polykatoikia) is an intermediate space where its appropriation can transform itself from space to place, from rooftop to rooftopo.