Ephemeral Structures

Athens Olympic Games

The Ephemeral Structures competition asked to produce structures that operated as urban parasites or “guest structures” in Athens during the Olympics. No particular site was identified by the brief. Structures were supposed to adapt and take advantage of existing infrastructure and to invite citizens to participate in n and generate cultural events during the games. Five possible programs listed: a small theater, a kiosk, a creative activity space, a landmark and an open or “leisure activity” category. We felt that all five categories could be addressed with one adaptable structure and creative program.

The polis is, by definition, the center of political activity. In ancient Greece, the theater played a critical role in representing public voices. The theater was the political center of the city, but also the primary space of representation. The first “tragedies” were myths danced and sung by a chorus or Khoros at a festival in honor of Dionysus. The first festivals were SATYRIC. SATYRS, half men and half goat, danced in a ring chanting the myths. The Khoregi dressed in goat skins, were given prizes for the best play. Tragoedia, means “goat song.” The Khoros rehearsed a democratic tribal system which eventually became the basis of ancient Greek theater and political structures. The Khoros was both an ephemeral and parasitic structure - political, central to civic activity, yet always on the outside of the organization of both theater and the ancient polis.

The project proposal consisted of the construction of a series of wi-fi information booths that could be folded up and assembled at various events during the Olympiad. The Khoros figures were made of hi-tech fabrics with large antennae horns to date reception and screen projecting on the interior surfaces.

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