Thinking Greece, Thinking Futures: Urmadic University HotHouse 3 (June 2013, Greece)

Dates: 27-30 June 2013
Location: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Architecture
Website: http://www.theodessey.org/
Deadline for submission of expressions of interest: 15 April 2013

Following the 1st Hothouse in Brisbane (July 2011) and the 2nd Hothouse in Paris (July 2012), Hothouse 3 aims to liberate thinking and initiate projects that inquire upon, and even begin to reverse, the conditions and principles through which Greece exists in a state of crisis. The intent of ‘Hothouse’ 3 is to bring together a dynamic collection of people from Greece and around the world in order to confront these issues in a structured way; this conversation will be grounded in the identification and elaboration of local agendas, aiming to think and initiate specific projects from which beginnings and directions can grow.

This is an Urmadic University project. Each year the Hothouse moves progressively according to its context: Hothouse 3 is different in the fact that instead of talking about problems to be faced, it is actually situated in a problem.

Expressions of interest to participate in the event are invited from:

1.      Disenfranchised Greek intellectuals/designers of all ages disenchanted by the current local status quo, interested in new thinking and critical practices (limited to 20 places)
2.      Members of the Urmadic University Network (limited to 20 places)

Place numbers are open to revision (based on the volume of expressions received/selection). The event will be conducted in English.

Further information on the previous Hothouses and the Urmadic University can be found at http://www.theodessey.org/

Context

Greece is in a state of ‘crisis’. This ‘crisis’ can be presented as a narrative; yet, it is a narrative with an actual impact on people’s lives, as it is also an undisputable state of being for a significant number of Greeks, covering the widest spectrum of society as well as manifesting the widest variety of concerns. This problem is presented at once as local (as ‘Greek’), as well as global in its affinity to concerns over the intertwined effects of unsustainable policies on a significant number of countries, and people all over the world.

At the same time, Greece is historically unique. It is Europe. And Balkans. And East. And West. A territory that keeps shifting its borders in all directions – this over the past 2500 years. And currently it seems to be nowhere. Here is a country with a history that has formed the histories of other nations and that has been reformed by exclusion and demarcation. A culture carrying a philosophical tradition that created the problem of western metaphysics, globalism and colonialism, currently being the victim of its own creation. Above all, Greece is an exemplary society facing a conceded collapse.

Yet in the moment of an ending a beginning demands to be faced. This situation can be addressed to in numerous ways – economically, culturally, existentially and so on. But, as we stated earlier, it is equally a felt concern for many other people globally as the plight of the nation is understood as symptomatic of far wider problems at the end of modernity, such as the complete loss of credibility of evolutionary and emancipatory narratives including ‘development’, ‘progress’, and ‘sustainability’. What the recent history of Greece exposes is that while the powerful and the privileged will continually strive to retain their power and privileges, they are fundamentally failing to deal with the issues that are deciding the fate of humanity (and much else): planetary destruction, a climate heading toward, perhaps already in, chaos and an ever growing volume of displaced people worldwide; increasing the spread and growth of asymmetrical warfare as a feature of latemodern life.

About the Hothouse

The intent of ‘Hothouse’ 3 is to bring together a dynamic collection of people from Greece and around the world in order to confront these issues in a structured way; this conversation will be grounded in the identification and elaboration of local agendas.

The event cannot simply be an interesting discussion or a search for a savoir. Rather its ambition has to liberate thinking that is able to begin reversing those principles linked to a Eurocentric model of making the world that is now embedded in globalism, and in so doing think and initiate specific projects from which beginnings and directions can grow. In that sense it is important for the participants to be prepared to immerse themselves in the context of the ‘Hothouse’ rather than carry along with them pre-structured and rigid positions.

The ‘Hothouse’ will take place as an intensive four-day event. The first day of the event will require briefings and dialogue; the focus of the second day will be on project ideas, evaluation and selection; and, the remaining two days will focus on project development and presentations.This is an Urmadic University project. Each year the Hothouse moves progressively according to its context (year one was in Brisbane, year two in Paris). Hothouse 3 is different in the fact that instead of talking about problems to be faced, it is actually situated in a problem. Further information on the previous Hothouses and the Urmadic University can be found at http://www.theodessey.org/

EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST

The Hothouse is taking place June 27-30, 2013 At Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece – School of Architecture

Expressions of interest in participation in the event are invited from:

  1. Disenfranchised Greek intellectuals/designers of all ages disenchanted by the current local status quo interested in new thinking and critical practices (limited to 20 places)
  2. Members of the Urmadic University Network (limited to 20 places)

Place numbers are open to revision (based on the volume of expressions received/selection)
To express interest please supply:
• Name
• Age
• Gender
• Contact details
• Employment status
• If employed: Institution/Employer/Position

Plus Statement of Interest in the event in response to its context and how/what you believe you could contribute (word limit 300 words).

Email to: e.kalantidou@griffith.edu.au by April 15th.

Selection will be based on the creation of a diverse group and the nature of the statement presented. Selection will be made by members of the Urmadic University and of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Architecture. Those selected will be notified by April 29th.

Additional considerations:
• Travel by your own arrangements
• Refreshments will be provided
• Accommodation – a list of budget and standard priced hotels will be supplied

A pre-event briefing will be provided to the selected participants.

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About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is http://deseng.ryerson.ca/~fil.

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