The School of Athens

“The School of Athens” is a by Xristina Argyros and Ryan Neiheiser curated exhibition representing Greece at the Biennale Architettura 2018 in Venice. Studying common, apparently free and un-programmed spaces throughout a selection of fifty-six architectural academic spaces, they aim to rethink the perception of the learning space within a time frame of 2500 years.

Since the thought was departing from the most typical embodiment of the classical spirit of the Renaissance “Scuola di Atene” painted by Raphael around 1500 we make within our design approach a reference to that same period of “rebirth”. Rethinking the classics was obviously accompanied with a spirit of reinvention not only in the arts or architecture but also in the space of printing, typography and medias of knowledge. Beginning in 1501, for instance Aldus Manutius of Venice began to print classical works in small octavo format, which were easily portable. These editions contained only the text of the works, without the commentary and notes, and became very popular with educated readers. As a result, Aldus became closely associated with the octavo format. In our approach we are reusing this early DIN format “octavo” as basic substance.

The by Argyros Neiheiser used grid, organizing the fifty-six 3d printed models within the Greek Pavilion, corresponded perfectly with the dimensions of the octavo and seemed confirming our work template. Consequently we designed a set of three typefaces on this grid, mapping three aspects of content: Data, Drawing and Image. With a quasi objective and anti-hierarchical attitude proper to the reinvention of Standards and Orders all the designed elements aspire to form an archive like space of reflection and study.


The School of Athens
The National Pavilion of Greece
at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale Di Venezia
May 26 – November 25
Giardini della Biennale

Ministry of Environment and Energy,
The General Secretariat of Spatial Planning & Urban Environment
Commissioner: Eirini Klampatsea
Curators: Xristina Argyros & Ryan Neiheiser

Collaborators: Panayotis Tournikiotis, Danae Haratsis, Eleni Vagianou, Giorgio Piscitelli, Eirini Sapka, Francesco Zuddas, Bryce Suite, Typical Organization for Standards & Order, Students from the Architectural Association, Students from the National Technical University of Athens

Student Collaborators: Nena Aru, Aggeliki Asimakopoulou, Niccolo Cesaris, Ryan Mujung Chiu, Aggelos Chouliaras, Ioannis Georgaklis, Gianna Gkioni, Theodora Giovanazzi, Alexandros Gravalos, Alexia Haluli, Grace Jeong, Xara Kaika, Penelopi Karalis, Lito Karamitsou, Georgia Kestekoglou, Kevin Larson, Nicholas Lin, Charalampos Marangos, Grigoris Mathioudakis, Christina Melissourgou, Atiyeh Naghavi, Katerina Papadopoulou, Olga Psarri, Heliciane Rallis, Panagiotis Soteriades, Maria Nefeli Stamatari, Evangelos Stampelos, Elaine Skoufi, Marianna Tsapepa, Aggeliki Tsilidi, Qiuyu Xiong, Aijie Xiong, Tommy Hexuan Yu, Chris Zhongtian Yuan, Stavros Zotos

Project Credits:
Typographic Design – Typical Organization for Standards & Order
Web developer — SirTimid, Dimitris Marlagkoutsos
Photography – Ugo Carmeni
Construction – Labadarios Construction
Lighting Design – Bright Special Lighting
3D Printing – Hellas3d, 3DHub

With the co-financing of Greece and the European Union
Grand Sponsor: Onassis Culture
Sponsor: Bright Special Lighting, EOT (Greek National Tourism Organisation)
Supporters: Outset Contemporary Art Fund (Greece), NEON Organization for Culture and Development, Aegean Airlines, Alpha Bank, Kraft Paints, Archeiothiki, Ancient Kallos, Hellas 3D, Anek Lines, Superfast Ferries, Domaine Evharis, Enteka S.A.
Under the Auspices of the: Hellenic Institute of Architecture