People of Athens were invited and mobilized to donate their old lighting fixtures, old chandeliers, paper hats, while murals where painted along the walls of the street, in order to transform this abandoned street of central Athens, into a homely space”.
Since 2012, international design magazines, Chinese TV, a NY MOMA publication and several other important global media outlets have cast their spotlight on this small pedestrian street on Athens, its groovy light installation and its successful outcome as an experiment of urban rejuvenation. Our host in Athens Chris Tantalakis, guides in the street and explains us how this experiment became reality and how greek crisis urbanism found its most recognisable paradigm.
Pittaki street is located in Psyrri neighbourhood, off to Ermou street (one of the busiest commercial streets in Athens) close to the vibrant Monastiraki square. However, this small street was dimly lit and shabby, hosting warehouses and small businesses. The project called “Synoikia” -that means neighbourhood in Greek-, was conceived by a collaborative initiative called Imagine the City, a cluster for urban regeneration, and realised by light art and deign group called Beforelight.
Beforelight explain that “this Installation is based on the participation of the local society and it is originated as an idea at Beforelight’s previous work “Under a different light” in Thessaloniki. People of Athens were invited and mobilized to donate their old lighting fixtures, old chandeliers, paper hats, etc for the creation of the installation, while murals where painted along the walls of the street, in order to transform this abandoned street of central Athens, into a homely space”.
The installation has been there for almost three years, transforming the street into a popular alley and making the life of its residents safer. Street parties, performances, commercial or music video shoots have taken advantage of its presence, spreading the word even further.
For additional info on Pittaki street and the projects of Imagine the City and Beforelight groups, you can visit their web portals: