Designing (in) the ugly

13 January, 2016

Designing (in) the ugly

The case of a quarry.

Greek version

Students: Fenia Nevrokopli, Danai Tazoglidou, Rozy Tsitouridou
Supervisor: Vana Tentokali
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Architecture
Presentation date: 6/10/2015


The initiating point for the design process was the context, an inactive quarry at Asvestochori, Thessaloniki; whilst it was a centre of quarrying activity for almost three hundred years, today it is used as a junkyard.



Throughout a spatial and morphological research, it becomes clear that processes such as subtraction, disintegration and deconstruction have shaped the quarry into its current formation. These processes are repeated, on a smaller scale, and describe the synthesis. Alongside, elements of the context, both natural and manmade, are translated into a form of personal writing and become designing tools.




The potential function of the context was a matter of concern from the very beginning. Mark Cousins three articles titled 'The Ugly' contributed in answering this question. Connections and proportions were found between the text and the quarry, its current use and the discarded objects; a dynamic relationship between the quarry and the objects was acknowledged. Thus, by momentarily leaving aside its initial use, the quarrying activity, and by studying the relationship between the quarry and the discarded objects, arose the idea to place this relationship at the heart of design. And so, a system of storerooms and workshops is proposed. What is rejected by the city's residents is transferred to the quarry and categorized in storerooms. Visitors can explore the landscape of a quarry, whilst selecting an object, which can be altered and remodeled, if desired, within the area of the quarry. The objects acquire utility once again and activate the quarry site.

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