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Elisavet Hasa

PhD Work

Infrastructures of Solidarity Care

My thesis draws on the series of social movements that sprang up during the last decade to provide support to marginalised groups and their needs as a form of collective direct action to investigate how they create micro-infrastructures for care provision and interrelate in various forms with state institutions.

 The argument of my thesis is that during the past decade, social movements have rendered the infrastructural domain as one of the most important public sites of collective participation and struggle. Through my research I find that social movements are wiring the activities of their spaces with the devices, networks or architectures that they deem worthy of local attention or concern. From decentralised spaces and interiorities diffused across the city to concentrated consolidations of social movements in the same area, infrastructural projects of solidarity and care, become techno-material artefacts that social movements take upon themselves to design, service and maintain. This thesis claims that such interventions signal the rise of protocol systems and the design of prototypes to capture the qualitative data, design methods and relationships between different subjects and space; a fact that speaks for the transformation of the urban syntax and architecture, directly challenges the public qualities of welfare infrastructure, and reflects the power of solidarity bodies that enable another way of ‘infrastructuring’.

Alongside an in-depth discussion of how spatiality becomes complicit in the concept of institutionalisation of the activities of social movements, this research explores the engagement of numerous social movements in the emancipatory solidarity movement for care provision (healthcare, housing, education, food) in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, and their activism as part of the anti-austerity movement. Focusing on Athens, the main finding of this thesis is that institutional structures require social movements to monitor the spatial manifestation of their activities through data quantification systems —such as templates, matrices, legal and administrative protocols and portals — but, most importantly, to produce design work and architectural drawings. Essentially, in my thesis, I investigate through architecture, the system-building symptom of these initially small-scale autonomous infrastructures and their attempt to scale up the spatial, organisational and technical systems that originated in one place, growing in response to particular ecological, legal, political, and institutional techniques. This conception places a focus on practices of routinisation and extension, adaptability of space and architectural elements and, finally, of standardisation of protocol systems into a digital record.

 By charting an inclusive history of their activities, including political activism and spatial occupation, my work has as an aim to highlight new networks of exchange and expertise among social movements, along with the agency of social movements in design histories, but also to link the multiple forms of resistance as they develop connecting these otherwise dispersed geographies to an infrastructural movement centered around solidarity and care. In the work of social movements that form a transnational network, my thesis explores how other kinds of infrastructure are also visible rendering possible a solidarity movement that reproduced large communities who gathered on site, established self-organisation protocols, reconfigured welfare protocols and care prototypes to provide, protest and protect, and it did so by establishing social and ecological interdependence and connection across borders.

MPhil work

Solidarity Support Infrastructures in Athens: Prototypical Designs & Protocological Systems

This thesis sets out a theory and the practice of ‘solidarity infrastructure’ as the multi-scalar fundamental component required to investigate new forms and frameworks of the design, surveying and delivery of architecture in the context of ‘social movements, solidarity economy and radical municipalities’ that want to revolutionise public procurement and welfare provision. Drawing on numerous social-solidarity projects that appeared during the financial crisis in Greece, it examines the relationship of such ad hoc initiatives with institutional forms of government and the occupation of publicly procured assets, and the mobilisation of municipal government bodies in Athens.

Alongside an in-depth discussion of how spatiality becomes complicit in the concept of institutionalisation of the activities of social movements, this research explores the engagement of numerous social movements in the emancipatory solidarity movement for care provision (healthcare, housing, education and food) in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, and their activism as part of the anti-austerity movement. The main finding of this thesis is that institutional structures require social movements to monitor the spatial manifestation of their activities through data quantification systems — such as templates, matrices, legal and administrative protocols and portals — but, most importantly, to produce design work and drawing packages. By charting an inclusive history of their activities, including political activism and spatial occupation, my work has as an aim to highlight new networks of exchange and expertise among social movements, along with the agency of social movements in design histories. 

Essentially, my thesis comprises a technical and historical account of care provision infrastructures that have emerged from the activities of social movements in the crisis-hit city of Athens during the last decade. I investigate through architecture, the system-building symptom of these initially small-scale independent infrastructures and their attempt to scale up the spatial, organisational and technical systems that originated in one place, growing in response to particular ecological, legal, political, and institutional techniques. My aim has been to explore how, as they grow into a networked infrastructure, they must move to other places with differing conditions, technical and technological standards, and legal regulations, elaborating the protocols of self-organisation and techniques of adaptation, semiotics and translation. In particular, this conception places a focus on practices of routinisation and extension, standardisation of space and architectural elements and, finally, of adaptation of protocological systems into a digital record.

Info

  • Elisavet Hasa
  • PhD

    School

    School of Architecture

    Programme

    Architecture Research, 2017–2021

  • MPhil

    School

    School of Architecture

    Programme

    Architecture Research, 2016–

  • Elisavet Hasa is an architect and researcher based in London. She graduated from the School of Architecture at the University of Patras, Greece (2015) and is currently a PhD candidate in Architecture at the Royal College of Art (2021). Her research interests focus on the intersections between social movements, infrastructural domains and the state apparatus. Elisavet is a researcher at the School of Architecture, and also a founding member of Fatura Collaborative, an architecture and research practice, while her work has been presented on many occasions internationally.