POST NOSTALGIA | design meets utopia

Romantso, Exhibition space

Description Drawings | Participants | Organization

PostNostalgia 1b

PostNostalgia 2

PostNostalgia 2b

PostNostalgia 3

PostNostalgia 4

PostNostalgia 5

PostNostalgia 6

PostNostalgia 6b

PostNostalgia 7a

PostNostalgia 7b

PostNostalgia 9

PostNostalgia 10



Sometimes what we feel nostalgic about is not the «beautiful days» of the past, but the desires and the dreams about the future that were borne in the past but never materialized. We reminisce not about something which has passed, but a future that never came. Reminiscing the unrealizable is what inspires our current visions and desires.

The applied arts of the years between 1950 and 1970 (architecture, graphic design, product design, fashion design, etc.) were marked by futuristic visions and experimentation involving utopian explorations that reflected a general mood of optimism about the future of the modern world. History did not confirm most of those «predictions», so reminiscing today all that futuristic-utopian design does not refer to something that existed in the past, but to a future that never happened.

On the other hand, current Design demonstrates a strong interest in various elements of the 1950-70 period, elements which reappear all the more often today, not in the form of a nostalgic «retro» fad, but in an attempt to establish meaningful links with the optimistic but unfinished programme of modernism, and so one could say that the past is re-emerging in the present as a desire for change.

Design as a whole incorporates a vision for a better future as well as a specific form of nostalgia of a second grade, a post-nostalgia, for the dreams that marked certain eras but never materialized. This post-nostalgia refers to the utopian element that is to be found in memory, while it stands critically against the routine idealization of the past and «retro» revivals.

Based on the above rationale, the Vakalo School organized the research project entitled «post-nostalgia: Design meets utopia», which ran for two years (from January 2017 through to December 2018) with the aim to conduct research and personal projects on the notion of Design as a material bearer of collective/individual memory and of critical utopian visions, with reference to the 1950-70 period and contemporary creative practice.

The seventeen participants, from the areas of architecture, visual communication, theatre design, visual arts, sound design and history/theory, were selected through an interview process following an open invitation, and pursued their research and development of their personal proposals supported by the mentoring of the coordinating committee, while they also collaborated systematically in the context of a programme of group meetings involving brain-storming and workshops with presentations of work-in-progress. This show displays the work produced by the researchers through this process.

The participants’ projects are the outcome of research, theoretical study and applied experimentation that were developed in a broad range of various fields and topics: history and semiotics of Design, history of architecture, architectural utopias, history of popular and mass culture, artistic avant-gardes, surrealism, situationism, modern and post-modern typography, history of typefaces, politics of nostalgia and critiques of retro trends, psychology of memory, history of technology, philosophy of dress, history of the cinema, cybernetics and information theory, etc.

The programme «post-nostalgia: Design meets utopia» represents the first large-scale systematic research to be conducted in Greece on the theory and history of Design, and aims to demonstrate the indissoluble link between scientific study and creative artistic work, as well as the defining role played by Design in the life of people, in the social process and critical thought.



The projects on display are the final outcome of a two-year research programme, and were developed through personal work and team discussions involving exchange of ideas. Thus, they stand together and communicate in the framework of this exhibition in a meaningful way and not merely in a decorative sense.

The concepts of economy and minimal dimension in the process of construction, typical features of late modernism, were applied in the design of the exhibition itself:
(a) All support constructions for the display of the projects were made from five chipboard sheets measuring 3660x1850mm.
(b) The surfaces of all five sheets were used at 100% and no pieces we left unused.
(c) Chipboard was an inexpensive and revolutionary material in the period between 1950 and 1970, used widely in the mass production of low-cost furniture, intended to be affordable to everybody. Through the use of the same material in the show, there emerges a notional connection with the era investigated.
(d) The surfaces and display stands are constructed in a way that allows their reuse in other shows sponsored by the College.

The constructions function as a neutral background for the exhibits without competing with them, yet having their own design autonomy. The exhibits were installed in such a way in the space, so as to create a dialogue between them and to reveal to the visitor in an interesting way the exhibition's content. There wasn't a specific flow, the tour of the exhibition was free of any directions. Anyone could create their own unique experience.


Romantso, Exhibition space | Opening: 21 March 2019, 20:00 / 21 March - 3 April 2019









Ermina Apostolaki (stage designer) / The resonance of the bazaar

Isidora Arvaniti (architect) / Records of urban fiction

Manolis Babounis (interior designer) / Seeking the Architect’s utopia in the city

Daphne Kala (interior designer) / BM.. NB. VS.: Playing games with three Utopias

Lefteris Kalonaris (communication designer) / Nationalism and nostalgia

Marializa Kambi (graphic and media designer) / Epiclesis [Invocation]

Maria Koutouzi (visual artist, curator) / Nostalgia for my demon: A Portrait

Aggela Mandilari (architect, visual artist) / Some bodies some times

Vasiliki Panagiotopoulou (communication designer) / Solaris, my Love: Between the bomb and the space station

Konstantinos Papamichalopoulos (visual artist) / My Strength is the Love of the People

George Ramantanis (sound designer) / Hyperlexist poetry production machine Fafana AS38f

Karina Shabanova (communication designer) / False Memory

Matina Throumoulopoulou (architect, musician) / Utopian fonts of Akis Panou

Danae Tzotzos (graphic designer, visual artist) / Underground

Anna Vokali (architect) / Cadavre exquis

Joshua Yang (graphic designer) / Cohesive fragmentation as narrative

Konstantina Yiannakopoulou, Giorgos Strouzas (communication designers) / The School of Ulm: Starting from a teaching method and reaching the world



Konstantinos Gounaridis

Idea, Executive direction
Miltos Frangopoulos
George S. Vlahos

Co-ordination, mentoring
Vangelis Georgakopoulos
Manolis Iliakis
Vasilis Marmatakis

Exhibition Design
Manolis Iliakis

Visual identity and print design
Vasilis Marmatakis

Arghyro Doxaki

Promotion, web media
George Geοrgoulas
Evi Kapeli

Special Constructions Support
Giannis Sourdis

Technical Support
Christos Gogas
Vasilis Stogiannis
Triantafillos Viniris


George Georgoulas

Manolis Iliakis








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