Synoikia Pittaki - Participatory Light Installation

Format Installation

City Athens, Greece

Pittaki Street, Psirri – How would it feel if your own old furniture could be re-purposed by giving life to an abandoned spot in the city? Synoikia Pittaki consists of a participatory intervention in the urban landscape, that aims at creating a new experience in the city. Abandoned, degraded or indifferent spots in the city are selected, and through collective interventions, are transformed with the active involvement of citizens and collaboration between the creative community and public and private institutions.

Pittaki Street is a pedestrian street at Psyrri's district, Athens city centre. Despite it being next to the main commercial street of Athens, the presence of residents, passers-by and visitors was gradually being reduced, while closed shops and scarce lighting at night promoted the feeling of unsafety and hostility. At the same time, the surrounding district houses a mix of -gradually shrinking- small stores and traditional craft workshops, with old lighting and furniture. This contradiction inspired the development of the idea as a challenge to test urban revitalization on a small scale.

Location Find the spot

Know your neighbourhood: Is there any neglected, abandoned and/or dark street that could be reimagined? What are the assets and the unique identity of your neighbourhood that you could make use of?

People Power Team Up

Form your team. Find like-minded people and start discussing the idea of the urban intervention. See your idea take shape into concrete actions! Despite in the case of Synoikia Pittaki, the intervention featured lighting fixtures, you can be creative and find the solution that best fits in your neighbourhood: greenery, coloured objects, or like, the main purpose is to give a new character, bring forth the identity of the neighbourhood and get citizens involved.

Things you need Collect collect collect

When you finalize the details of the urban intervention, thy and get people involved for the collection of materials. In our case, all lightings were collected through an open call from locals and then refurbished from our team, with the help of other volunteers.

Official / Legal By the law

Before everything starts, make sure you have the local authorities aboard, too! Apply and take all necessary permission before starting building your intervention.

Funding Cha-ching!

Most of the expenses can be acquired through in-kind donations and sponsorships. Check in the neighbourhood and approach people and businesses for support that will be directly affected by the intervention.

Communication Be open to neighborhood

You may be surprised by the acceptance of your intervention by the local community. Get them involved from the beginning of your idea and throughout all your action and listen to their proposals. The best way for approaching the local community is always door-to-door invitations and building interpersonal relationships.