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Architect / PhD Candidate in Architectural Design / Teaching Fellow at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL / UG3 Design Tutor / AiS Design Tutor / Illustrator / Storyteller. You can contact me at: liangifi_at_gmail_dot_com / Unless stated otherwise, all work on this blog is made by Ifigeneia Liangi, Athens, 1988.

09 December 2011

Diagram of the story i am writing.
As i wish to start developing "spatial propositions for characters", at the moment i am looking at the artist Ilya Kabakov, whose work i find fascinating.

Bernard's tomb in a tree

Photograph-drawings of the model "Bernard's tomb". Bernard Mickey-Wrangle was the lover of princess Leigh-Cheri, daughter of King Max and Queen Tilly (the names are taken from the book "Still Life with Woodpecker" from Tom Robbins.) The "Graft-tree" is part of the story i am writing at the moment which i intend to turn into a film. Possibly i will start developing an architecture for characters. First term's work has been quite experimental, with physical modelling, drawings and short animations. I will upload my animation soon. 

19 October 2011

Still Life_

A Story of Still life _ 

We are in the shanty town bellow Istanbul. It resembles the cave that was recently discovered in Vietnam. The smell of light and rain is sitting on the first row of the cinema hall. We, are far at the back. Solar shafts have migrated here for one and only reason. To please the eye of Leigh-Cheri, the liberal, environmentalist princess that once fell in love with Bernard Mickey Wrangle, the outlaw. She made her world in a cave under the earth, so that it's not round and so that it has an end. In that way she could follow her lover “to the ends of the earth”. A dry moon, suitable for paper birds, hangs from the top of the tallest tree column in the garden, tomb of Bernard. Cheri and the cyborg grandmothers buried him inside the tree many years ago. And now they make wise ruined birds out of it. “This is how love stays”, she says. The cave would have been rocky and greeny and boring like all landscapes and jungles, without Leigh-Cheri's shanty town that hosts the poor cyborgs and people who lost their houses in the earthquake of 2030. Every now and then she stitches the paper moon that sails over the cardboard sea which is covered with cellophane to reflect the birds. She is not melancholic, because all melancholy got sank in Bosporus since forever. She believes that her present is the most violent moment in time, because of the nostalgia of the future. Thus death becomes purely aesthetics. All of the princess’s birds have escaped from the ancient Mariner. That's the myth they grow up and live with till one of the inhabitants decides to make a toilet extension in his house and use them as a roof. The birds are wise because they are romantic. And they are romantic because they have never seen the moon. Leigh-Cheri finds her solitude romantic and has a wing on her arm that makes her feel like Odette. Her hands though, drink the pulp of rotten vegetables like mosquitos in the hot summer nights, while she wonders weather Ferhan Mimar is ever going to finish the construction of her palace. She remembers the time she got buried in a pyramid with Bernard by her jealous Egyptian husband, and had to make a bomb and blow herself up to open a hole and save her beloved terrorist. They both ended up deaf. By the first quarter of the twenty second century, the vegetarian princess will have eaten the jungle.

My story and characters are inspired by:

Tom Robbins- Still life with Woodpecker* 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge - The rime of the ancient Mariner

Ettore Scola- Brutti, Sporchi e Cattivi (Ugly, Filthy and Mean)**

Pier Paolo Pasolini- Uccellacci e Uccellini***

Michel Gondry- The science of sleep *

more specifically:
*the characters of Leigh-Cheri and Bernard, the fact that they were trapped in a pyramid by her husband and she had to blow it up, the fact that she wanted to follow her love to the ends of the earth, the cardboard sea and one or two more ideas are taken from this novel. Also, the book addresses the issue of "how to make love stay". Robbins says that the answer is: "through mystery".
**this film tells the story of a family that lives in a very poor shanty town in the periphery of Rome. ***Pasolini says for this film: Hawks and Sparrows was my movie that I loved and I love more, first of all because it is "the poorest and the most beautiful". One of the three main characters in this film is a raven, an intellectual of the left before the death of Palmiro Togliatti.

I made the "bird" this week. I sew paper to make the wings and the rest is balsa wood and cardboard.
I hope to green-screen it and animate it by next week..

04 June 2011

Film Drawing

This is a drawing i made for my final film of the year.
The funny thing is that the whole film is in yellow-brown-ish colours, but this is the drawing I prefer. 

Κοινότητα μαθητών και φοιτητών Κυψέλης

Drawings of my final design proposal for the Student Halls and Lecture Theatres in Kipseli.

21 May 2011

Collages of the model

These drawings are about the idea of the building looking like a paper model, but in fact being created through the "labyrinthine" nature of the digital process, where the background of the programme seems to have a sense of infinity, like the sky, and only shadows define certain space limits around the model. These drawings don't directly relate to my film, as I decided that the film will be more about the experience of the space inside my world rather than the process of creating it. 

13 March 2011

These two drawings are a view from the south. The upper hall with the colourful facade becomes a kind of lecture space as parts of it open up. Colour is projected onto the existing building (i ll show it in another drawing). The wooden benches-balconies that sit on the long "public" strip seem as if hang from the upper hall and it is an initial idea of how I could link the strip, the outside main staircase (and lift) with the truss to create a new space. The little tower that sits on the diamond column (hmm...) is the hall that I want to pay attention to next. At the moment I need to read and understand the procurement methods and how I am going to give parameters to the story and start writing it.

In order to understand and learn through my project, I started giving attention to the halls one by one. This is one of the halls that can host up to four university students and has a lecture space for about ten primary school students. (The next step is to specify all the economical issues, ideas and programme through diagrams). In relation to the existing buildings it sits around the fifth floor. Although Kipseli is the most dense populated area of Athens and relatively to the number of the city's inhabitants one of the most dense populated areas in the world, and very highly polluted in terms of air but sound as well, it is surprising to see that birds come back and build their nests inside the ventilation systems of the flats, particularly at the upper apartments. So the idea of this hall is to function as a tree house where the facade's stripy windows and shaders pattern the light on the floor inside as a tree in the forest and could potentially become nests for the birds. All the capsule halls of the building have disabled access, but the hall with the inverted tent that sits underneath the tree house is the most probable one of hosting disabled people because it is the nearest one to the main ramp of the building.

11 March 2011

This is a view from the north side, and i started applying materials. Maybe I could put some safety floor or fabric under the triangle truss bridge so that people could go in it. And i have to figure out how people won't fall from the 105step staircase. And the truss should probably be duplicated for the upper floor..or i ll have to add columns.

Masterplan of possible student halls-schools in the area and a future skyline for the change of the urban condition of the site.

10 March 2011

Surprisingly, this quick diagram of how the spaces work in terms of privacy and circulation helps me to think about the environmental and structural aspect of the building in a way. Openings,  and specification of materials. There is a lot of concrete..but..what kind of concrete and how do I use it in different spaces to give the effect that I want. 

This is one of the inside spaces. The colour is very basic but i'm learning how to uv map now so i hope to have better results in the next ones. The render at the top is the model developed a little. It looks a bit like "triplettes de belleville" but i kind of like that at the moment.

09 March 2011

the building is on the way

This is a diagram of the plans with the different capsule halls. I have organised some of them to see how practical things work...well in fact it was fun doing that. It came out that I had to have a common kitchen and bathroom for two of the five halls which ended up in an interesting gap in between them; maybe another capsule house or a chimney for getting cleaner air from the top of the building. The above render is one of the two facades i'm working on at the moment. The environmental consultant told me today that it is a good idea for shading, so i ll keep it. The little plastic square panels turn in two axis and there is no worry for them turning the balcony into a sauna as i was afraid would be the case, because wind comes from the east-west direction. The lower square and circle pieces can turn and become sits and tables for a potential small lecture space. The funky coloured barriers are a result of..hmm...playground influence? At the moment I am learning uv texturing so that I can show the materiality of each one of the pieces and i' ll have to model the big truss that spams from core to core because the engineer told me it has to be 1.8m high...i think it will change a lot the visual aspect of the building. (but i'll make it colourful). I made a plan of the pages that I need for the report. There is a lot to learn, but that's a good thing i suppose. For the crit i hope to have a clear analysis of the demographics so that i will be able to speak a bit about the political aspect of the project without over-narrativising it.

19 February 2011

continuing the model

i've been doing the south part of the building a bit. two of the student halls-the one that has a sphere on it is the hall through which you pass to go to the balcony where there is a view to the theatre. The one underneath it is a hall for disabled people. There is an inverted tent on which people can lie down and a floor window for ventilation. the huge columns of the building have "pockets" that people can go in. one of the columns has easy access and for the other, one needs to climb on the octopus.-i ll change it, it does look like an octopus. i will try to make diagrams showing the public-private spaces and the circulation within the building soon. also i want to start applying colour and light because i think it's going to change the whole atmosphere and show how i imagine it to be.

18 February 2011


What is the most possible thing that could happen to a building in the middle of a city that has fallen into despair? -Possibly burn down. Riots, sun, police on motorbikes with shiny helmets reflecting uncertainties. The dust of desperate boredom that is tired of being an excuse for the memories of a place whose history buries it day by day, finally stops being the everyday enemy of the housewives. The crisis is there. And of course it's not economic... How could it be just that? The building gets on fire. It is made out of colourful metallic pieces like in playgrounds. Metal is covered with wood at certain places; no one would ever want to touch metal in the middle of August in Athens, nor be in a place that can melt in ten minutes if it gets on fire, so wood would slowly burn and give people the time to get out. And the building would then be left bare, with its skeleton being like a dinosaur that had a car accident. No walls, no ceilings, just a few concrete blocks here and there, up and down, in between the colourful metal beams, reminding of a neighbourhood's class divisions that once lived in a block and flat architecture; squared in theory and practice. The building, becomes a monument in the middle of the piazza. Or an abandoned canvas of abstract geometries that the city has no money to reconstruct, replace, or redamage. And maybe this is a good thing because when no one has money, no one cares about it anymore.
And people start playing.

16 February 2011

The project is about: Integration-Fun-Interaction

The idea of integration will partly lie on the interaction of the students of the school of architecture of Athens (15min walk from the site) with the students of the public school of the area (10-17 years old). The building is going to house student halls, about ten of them, and teaching spaces for students who want to give extra teaching support to the people from the area's public school.

From personal experience I know that these students have to learn at least three languages as they are immigrants -their mother language, greek and english. The public school's hours then are not sufficient for them and their parents cannot help them because they have to work longer than eight hours per day in order to survive. I am also familiar with the fact that their parents, although poor, are willing to pay a small amount of money to students who can help. In this way students will benefit as well from having space for more than one student that they generally have per lesson, stay in the halls for a year, and then leave for other students to come.

The building is then going to have public as well as private spaces with a garden being formed at the top of the church, expanding at its northern part and a playground-theatre in the centre of the square. The private aspect of the project is going to work as surveillance for the site and prevent it from becoming a dangerous place at night. Open spaces for the people to walk three levels above the ground with a view to the park will then be formed in between and on the terraces of the student halls which I want to look as separate types of "installation houses", each one having its own character and details. For the composition of the building I am using 3D modelling in combination with 2D drawings. 3D is interesting because I am able to see the interaction of the volumes and the creation of spaces that i hadn't imagined, that are "out of scale" (for kids?), or spaces that allow views which are framed by the rest of the building in a way that it makes it look like a squared framed canvas. And this is an idea that I would like to explore through film maybe later on.  

The halls are going to stand on a long strip linking the church with the theatre and the idea of shifting the “up and down” existing social class division in the blocs of flats around the square will lie within the tallest part of the building being accessible to everyone and an entrance to the gardens on the top and the northern side of the church.

process model and sketches