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Dr Platon Issaias

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  • Biography

  • Dr Platon Issaias is an architect. He studied architecture in Thessaloniki, Greece and he holds an MSc from Columbia University and a PhD from TU Delft. His thesis investigated the recent history of planning in Athens and the link between conflict, urban management and architectural form. His research interests explore architecture in relation to the politics of labour, law and social reform. Prior to the RCA, he taught at the Berlage Institute/Rotterdam and since 2012 at the MArch Urban Design at the Bartlett.

    Upon his graduation from the Faculty of Architecture of the Aristotle University, Thessaloniki – Greece (2007), Platon Issaias received a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design (MSc AAD) from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation-GSAPP, Columbia University (2008). In May 2014, he successfully defended his thesis on The City as a Project PhD Program, launched by TU Delft in collaboration with the Berlage Institute/Rotterdam.

    Platon lectures in Greece and internationally, and his research has been published in many occasions, among others in DOMUS, Quaderns and the catalogues of the Greek entries in the 13th and the 14th Venice Architectural Biennale. He is the co-author of the book The City as a Project, published in autumn 2013 by Ruby Press, Berlin, edited by Pier Vittorio Aureli. In the summer of 2014, he participated in the 14th Venice Architectural Biennale with the collective project Mechanism of Suspension, which was exhibited at the Greek Pavilion and the Acropolis Museum in Athens. The project consisted of an alternative legal protocol and economic framework to deal with tourism and coastal development in Greece.

    For the last five years, he has been teaching in the UK, Greece and the Netherlands. Since autumn 2012, he has been a faculty member at the MArch in Urban Design of the Bartlett School of Architecture/UCL working on the Mediterranean project. In the autumn semester of 2015/16, he has been invited to teach as a Visiting Lecturer at the School of Architecture of the University of Cyprus.


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  • Practice

  • Since he was a student, Platon has worked individually and in collaboration with a number of practices in Greece across a wide range of scales including architecture, urban design and planning. He is mainly interested in national and international competitions that offer the possibility for design experimentation. Key projects include the 2nd prize in UIA’s International Architectural Competition for the Innovative, Bioclimatic, European School Complex in Crete, and the commendation in the European Architectural Competition Re-Think Athens for the creation of a new city centre in Athens (in collaboration with Antonas Office). 

  • Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes

  • Selected Books, Journals and Articles

    Issaias, P., Issaias, T., Vougia, A. (2015). ‘Mechanism of Suspension: Infrastructure and Legislation for Free Camping’. in: Y. Aesopos (ed.). Tourism Landscapes: Remaking Greece. Athens, Greece: Domes Editions. (book article)

    Issaias, P. (2014). ‘Athens Unplanned’. in: Uncube. (online article)

    Issaias, P. Issaias, T. Kizis, C. Vougia, A. (2014) ‘Crete Innovative Bioclimatic European School Complex – 2nd Place Entry’. in: DOMES-International Review of Architecture, issue 04. (magazine article)

    Issaias, P. (2013) ‘The Absence of Plan as a Project: Notes on the Planning development of Modern Athens, 1830-2010’. in: P.V. Aureli (ed.). The City as a Project. Berlin: Ruby Press. (book chapter)

    Antonas, A., Issaias, P., Koutsogianni, K. (2013). ‘Athenian Trench Project, Re-think Athens’. in: Quaderns, D’Arquitectura I Urbanisme-Publicacio del Col-legi d’ Arquitectes de Catalunya. (online article)

    Antonas, A., Issaias, P., Koutsogianni, K. (2013). ‘Athenian Trench’. in: DOMES-International Review of Architecture, ’Re-think Athens’, issue 02. (magazine article)

    Aureli, P.V., Giudici, MS., Issaias, P., (2012). ‘From Dom-ino to Polykatoikia’. in: DOMUS, issue 962 – October 2012. (magazine article)

    Aureli, P.V., Giudici, MS., Issaias, P. (2012). ‘Labour, City, Architecture: Athens as a case study’. in: P. Dragonas, A. Skiada. 

    Made In Athens. Athens: YPEKA, 2012. (book article)

    Issaias, P. (2011). ‘The Absence of Plan as a Project’. in: V. Bandieramonte, K. Rashidzadeh, P. Vigano (eds.). The Next Urban Question: Themes, Approaches, Tools. Venezia: Universita IUAV di Venezia. (conference proceedings)


    Selected Exhibitions

    Tourism Landscapes: Remaking Greece. Greek Pavilion, 14th Venice Architectural Biennale. Italy 2014.  

    Re-Think Athens. Onassis Cultural Centre. Athens. Greece. 2013.

    Walls. Panhellenic Architectural Exhibition. Patras. Greece. 2009.

    Interarch. 12th World Triennial of Architecture. Sofia. Bulgaria. 2009. 

    Archiprix. International Exhibition. Montevideo. Uruguay. 2009. 

    5th Young Greek Architects Biennale. Benaki Museum. Athens. Greece. 2008. 


    Selected Lectures and Presentations

    12th AHRA International Conference. ‘This Thing called Theory’. Leeds University. 2015.

    Conference ‘Ελ/Le Corbusier: Genealogies’. School of Architecture. NTU Athens. 2015.

    International Conference ‘Changing Cities’. Porto Heli. Greece. 2015.

    ‘Thinking Spatial Practice within and against Law’. Birkbeck Institute of Social Research (BISR), University of London – UK. 2015. 

    Critical Legal Conference. ‘Space, Movement, Control: The Case of the Greek Detention Centres and Practices’. University of Sussex. 2014. (together with Thanos Zartaloudis)

    Migration and Law Network 2014 Conference. ‘A Sea of Troubles? Problematizing Migration Law’. Birkbeck College. School of Law. 2014. (together with Ross Exo Adams, Christos Pallas, Thanos Zartaloudis)

    ‘The Don-ino Effect’. A One-Day Symposium. AA School of Architecture. London. 2014.  

    ‘Plenitude and Emptiness’. Symposium of Architectural Research by Design. School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture. College of Art. University of Edinburgh. 2014.

    Public School in Athens. Athens Biennale (Kernel). 2011.

    Urbanism & Urbanization, VI International PhD Seminar. ‘The Next Urban Question: Themes, Approaches, Tools’. IUAV. Venice. 2011.



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  • Awards and Grants

    • Commendation: Elementary School with Gymnasium, Municipality of Neapoli, Sykies – Greece (2015)
    • National Architectural Competition – Concept Design (in collaboration with Alexandra Vougia, Theodossis Issaias and Giannantonis Moutsatsos)
    • ARF, The Bartlett / UCL, 2014 – present                                                       
    • Research Grant for the interdisciplinary project in the island of Leros (Dodecanese/Aegean Sea – Greece), ‘Islands of Exile: The case of Leros’. In collaboration with the architect Beth Hughes and the photographer Yannis Drakoulidis 
    • Commendation: ‘Re-think Athens’, European Architectural Competition for the Creation of a New City Centre in Athens – Greece, 2013 (in collaboration with Aristide Antonas and Katerina Koutsogianni (Antonas Office, Athens – Greece)
    • The Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation in Greece, 2010 – 12
    • 2nd Prize Innovative, Bioclimatic, European School Complex in Crete – Greece (2012), International architectural competition organized by UIA and the School Building Organization in Greece
    • (in collaboration with Alexandra Vougia, Theodossis Issaias and Costandis Kizis)
    • Scholarship for PhD Candidate in Architecture
    • The Fulbright Foundation in Greece, 2008. Fulbright Scholar for Master’s Studies in Architecture in the USA

Selected work

Research

Research interests

Platon’s research interests explore architecture in relation to the politics of labour, law and social reform. His PhD thesis (TU Delft) investigated the recent history of planning in Athens and the link between conflict, urban management and architectural form. Platon’s research and design work has been published on many occasions, publications include DOMUS, Quaderns and the catalogues of the Greek entries in the 13th and the 14th Venice Architectural Biennale. He is the co-author of the book The City as a Project, published in 2013 by Ruby Press, Berlin, edited by Pier Vittorio Aureli.

Current and recent research

Issaias, P. (2016) ‘Domestic, Production and Debt: For a Theory of the Informal’ in: T. Stoppani, G. Ponzo and G. Themistokleous (eds) This Thing Called Theory, London, UK: Routledge, Critiques series (book article)

As part of a broader research project on Athens and the Greek urban phenomenon, the paper discusses the relation between urban management and architectural form in light of the recent economic crisis in Greece. What is the link between the domestic, production and debt? How forms of domestic ethos, habits and practices of domestic life could be related with administrative and managerial processes? How this could be used to developed a theoretical framework to confront the distinctions between ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ urbanisation?


Issaias, P (2015) ‘On Conflict, Generic and the Informal: The Greek Case’, in: Very, Vary Veri, Harvard GSD, 2 (magazine article)

The article deploys categories of political economy to analyze conditions and phenomena of the urban. Using the Greek city as a case study, it presents the process of city management through a specific methodological lens, which understands conflict as the generator of spatial and societal transformations in the city, and production as the space where this antagonistic relationship primarily occurs. Conflict and struggle are here the two instrumental categories to confront the notion of “crisis” as an ongoing, never ending project of capitalism, not as a mere malfunction of the capitalist economy and its cities.


Issaias, P. (2013) ‘The Absence of Plan as a Project: Notes on the Planning development of Modern Athens, 1830-2010’. in: P.V. Aureli (ed.) The City as a Project, Berlin: Ruby Press (book chapter)

The chapter presents the history of planning in Athens, from the inauguration of the city as the capital of the Greek kingdom till the beginning of the current economic crisis. The essay explores this type of planning as a continuous political project investigating the link between urban/architectural policies, territorial management and social struggle. Starting from the mid-19th century, it attempts to study the construction of an ideological and political framework within which undeclared state policies directed all economic activities to small scale construction and property acquisition, framing a peculiar social consensus based on a ruthless competitive, “bottom-up” entrepreneurialism.


Aureli, P.V., Giudici, MS., Issaias, P., (2012) ‘From Dom-ino to Polykatoikia’, DOMUS, issue 962, October (magazine article)

The article proposes a methodology to theorize Greek urbanization and the polykatoikia apartment building. The basis of this analysis is the re-conceptualization of Le Corbusier’s Dom-ino model in relation to production and labour, the organization of work in the construction industry and the form of domesticity and mode of life this apparatus put forward in a moment of profound social and political crisis.


Aureli, P.V., Giudici, MS., Issaias, P. (2012). ‘Labour, City, Architecture: Athens as a case study’ in: P. Dragonas, A. Skiada, Made In Athens, Athens: YPEKA (book article)

The article presents the project developed with a group of post-graduate researchers at the Berlage Institute in 2011. The project aimed to radically reorganize the polykatoikia system from within, in order to elaborate new collective urban forms. The polykatoikia, the typical apartment building that defined the Greek city, is tackled as both a formal and legal protocol, while the 8 proposed archetypes proposed a series of alternative spatial, structural and material possibilities that accommodate modes of living of contemporary metropolitan subjectivities.