Performance Architecture
Body, Movement, Space




Discover the interconnections of architecture.

“Architecture is moving, architecture is progressing, architecture is dancing, architecture is feeling”
‘Performance Architecture Summer School’ is an exciting week long learning journey taking place in the heart of Athens, Greece. The summer school combines architecture with other disciplines including art, cinematography and performance . The aim is to inspire, broaden and challenge the possibilities of spatial representation and design. The students will be invited to work on ways of designing that use the body as an instrument of thinking, sensing, drawing and sculpting space. ‘Performance Architecture Summer School’ is designed to give an alternative, critical view to the study, use and production of space on both urban and architectural scales.

Architecture, a dynamic discipline
Architecture has for long been considered a static discipline. The course focuses on applying the toolbox of performance in architectural thinking, to the production of spatial actions and bodily geometries in space. This is an incredible opportunity for students who want to learn new skills, emerge to an urban cultural landscape, be part of an interdisciplinary and international team, and diversify their project portfolios. Whether applying for University or for work, this alternative angle will help you stand out. The course offers an unconventional introduction to architecture under a performative approach in time and space.

Play with the city; be curious, be caring, be resourceful
The location of the school is a vital resource. The rich cultural, social and political background of Athens and the history of performance of the city provides endless inspiration, ground for study and opportunities for creativity. The museums, archaeological spaces, art institutions, avant garde groups and vibrant public spaces will form a key part of the school's programme and inform the learning experience. The participants will benefit by creating collaborative works that truly engage with the complex and rich city resources combining both intelligence and inter-disciplinary thinking.

Who is it for?
We aim to create an interdisciplinary group and approach in understanding space. Welcomed disciplines are; dance, architecture, visual arts, performance art, acting, cinema, moving image, photography, graphic design, interior design and literature.

The course will be taught in English.

All participants will be provided with a Certificate of Participation from the Viral Institute of Performance Architecture (VIPA).  


Is there a maximum number of students?

Yes, we will be accepting only 15 students. This is in order to make sure that each one gets individual support and feedback. This is what differentiates the school from other tutorials which can be watched by an infinite number of enrolled users.

Is the school taking place in Athens?

Not for this summer due to COVID-19 restrictions. We aim to do so next summer 2021

Can I change my location for each one of the tutorials?

Yes you can. You can do the first tutorial in your house, the second on a bench in a public space and the other two on a beach. It all depends on the spaces you are allowed to  access depending on your county’s restrictions. By no means do we suggest that you trespass those restrictions as they are imposed due to serious health concerns.
The course is specifically designed so that you stay creative within the diversity of locations allowed.

Other online classes are free, why are you charging a fee?

This course is a school. You will be taught in real time and you will be allocated a personal tutor that will offer support and individual feedback on your work. This is not a recorded skills tutorial, it is a class ran by proffesionals who dedicate their time and skills on your learning.

Do I have to participate in every tutorial?

No you do not have to do all tutorials, although it is recommended. You can choose your participation dates as in each date we will be offering lectures and will be learning particular skills. Please do note that Certificates of Participation will be given only to participants who have completed the entire course duration (4 weeks). This is because we believe that you do need time and dedication to complete and present an individual project

I am still going to school/ I am younger than 18, can I participate in the school?

Yes you can but you would need to provide a signed form of consent from your parent/ guardian and get them to know about any related-to-the-course-outdoor activities you are planning to do.


Toolbox;  Course Methodologies & References
‘Performance Architecture’ is designed to enable participants to extend their spatial awareness, exercise critical thinking and enhance their portfolio with an alternative approach. The tuition is primarily focusing on the active engagement of the participants and hands on project based work. This is achieved with a mixed programme of lectures, physical (body and mind) workshops, study visits to various sites, individual and collaborative work, presentations and peer reviews that include both performance and spatial learning.

We will be working with image composition methodologies, movement improvisation exercises, site specific practices to challenge our bodies as a response to a selected site. We will be touching upon the theories of the ‘Dérive’, the ‘Space of Flows’, ‘Performativity’, the ‘Expanding Theatre’, the ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’, ‘Laban Movement Analysis’, et.c. in order to incorporate the everyday life in Athens’ dynamic urban landscape into a performative piece of work. In the core teachings of this course, we celebrate the idea that the whole world can be seen as a stage -Theatrum Mundi- where borders between performance and real life are blurred.

Study areas will include:
  • Theory; Architecture, Urbanism, Site-Specific Art, Performance Art; discussions on key works, concepts & methods.
  • Space-movement exercises; Activating senses and the embodied spatial awareness.
  • Introduction to composing / ‘shaping a concept’
  • Using the body as a tool to understand, measure and design the space
  • Observations; rhythmic motives within our bodies, within the city, choreographing the city, ‘directing’ everyday life
  • Sketching with movement and embodying the sketch
  • Identification of key architectural elements and their socio political affiliations through the use of performance art; scale, thresholds, viewpoints, trajectories
  • Understanding how we can radicalize action and transform it into a design thinking

Theory: What is Performance Architecture
‘Performance Architecture’ is an innovative direction of the architectural discipline originating as a term since 2006. It focuses on the sensorial and experiential elements of space and applies the interaction of space and bodies as a methodology for designing. Classes of ‘Performance Architecture’ have recently been incorporated in the curriculum of prestigious architectural colleges, such as the Architectural Association and the UCL Bartlett schools in London, UK.

This pathway of architecture deviates from the traditional role of a master architect who produces sculptural objects for a neutral user, and instead engages emotionally as well as cognitively with a participatory, dynamic improvisation between active individuals (a community) with the surrounding environment (space, community). The role of the architect is that of the storyteller, using the vocabulary of people’s actions; The human body is seen as a drawing, thinking, making, sculpting and cognitive tool, producing notational sketches in the duration of space; Space is considered as an extension of our bodies and our bodies as an extension of space. In both small and large scale, from a room to the city, humans are shaping their environment and are being shaped by it.

Engaging with the city
The city of Athens is a vast terrain for inspiration and action. We will be introducing the compositional approach ‘Site-Specific Outdoor’ where the space constitutes the prima material of the work and the concept derives from an interactive dialogue with the site, allowing it to form its content, research and evolution. Engaging with the city and performance, we will expand our thinking bodies in the urban landscape and merge with the mundane and exciting everyday life.


Building your portfolio
The participants will be benefited in building or improving their portfolio and their body of work. Upon completion of the seminar the participants will have produced an exciting and fresh project for their portfolios showing a unique interdisciplinary angle that can help them stand out as university candidates or job applicants.

Learn new skills and avant-garde design methods
Participants will enrich their design vocabulary with new gestures and methods, will gain an out of the box understanding of the relationship between body and space and learn how to practically use this relationship in order to develop creative projects.

Learn how to curate and present your work
Outcomes and research materials produced within the Summer School will be exhibited in Athens (place tba). Participants will have a key role in curating the exhibition. Through project reviews and project presentation students will form a critical stance to their personal and their group work, and critically review the effectiveness and appropriateness of their chosen performative methods and results. Students will learn how to have a critical and contextual awareness of different perspectives and approaches within their subjects of study or work,  and how to effectively present themselves and their work to appropriate audiences.

Performance Architecture