AKTO Art & Design College on Innovative Design for Public Good


Saturday, March 11, in Athens, Greece, AKTO Art & Design College and ECOWEEK, hosted a 7 Days of Genius event for young architects. The event focused on how design can be used for public good.  The conversation was led by Dr. Elias Messinas, founder of EcoWeek, landscape architect Natalia Pantelidou, and architect Antonis Gavalas. 

The speakers presented examples of their own work that have had a positive social impact.  The students then formed a working group called a “Greenhouse” team. Under the guidance of the veteran architects, they will collaborate on a plan to improve the facilities at two struggling local institutions. The two institutions are a shelter for children and a clinic for incurable diseases, both of which are now in a state of deterioration because of the current financial crisis in Greece. The “Greenhouse” team launched during 7 Days of Genius will continue to meet and together, will work on re-designing the shelter and clinic’s living quarters, bathrooms and gardens.  The students will also fundraise for the institutions and gather other necessary resources like furniture.

In Greece, a country still affected by the financial crisis where most young professionals looking for opportunities abroad, the event had the double benefit of inspiring young professionals to see how they can have an immediate impact in their own communities and offering them professional experience and skill development.

As the organizers explained, “the GENIUS event was the opportunity to bring together two concepts: the concept of GENIUS for public good on a theoretical level through examples and good practices, and to give young professionals the power to be actively taking part in making a difference in their community through their work.”

To learn more about ECOWEEK Genius, visit their site.

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