Creative cooperation in Psyrri

It started with the galleries. «Let’s go for a stroll in Psyrri» became a motto encouraging Athenians to venture out to the downtown neighborhood whose ambition was to become the capital’s very own Soho. A few years on, while the galleries appear to be fading from the area a new creative force is extending an open invitation to visit the neighborhood. Organized by the creative design bureaus of Psyrri, Design Walk 2008 opens today and runs to Sunday. A project that took place for the first time last year with considerable success, Design Walk is urging members of various age groups to discover that besides the bars, restaurants and tavernas, Psyrri is also home to fresh minds and great ideas. This year organizers have invited designers from around the globe (including from London, Paris, Milan, Hamburg, Madrid and the United States) as well as local talent to develop a series of exhibitions on all sorts of themes. The starting point in Design Walk is a collaboration in visual communication in order to combine graphics with audiovisual means in exploring the relationship between design and artistic expression as diverse as cooking and architecture. In an effort to shorten the distance between the transmitter and the receiver, the creative groups of Psyrri are once again opening their doors. Competitive yet united «Last year was a first encounter with the public,» said Anastassia Louri, one of the organizers. «We had to make the necessary introductions, to get the public to realize that we are graphic artists, not advertising agencies, and that we are not showing commercial work. Perhaps what impressed the public above all was that although we work in a competitive environment, we decided to act as unified body in the hope that Athens will gradually enter the international map of design.» In contrast with last year, the works presented over the next couple of days were created exclusively for this interactive project. A number of designers have collaborated with architects and fashion designers, among others, to develop common projects. This is a network of up-and-coming professionals who share a dream and have a vision worth rediscovering. The reason why designer bureaus have rallied round the Psyrri area is not due to the neighborhood’s (former) claim to trendiness, but rather because of the area’s easier access to the large variety of raw materials necessary for their activities. Perhaps art galleries are on their way out of the downtown area, but there is still room for creative professions here. Design Walk 2008 participating bureaus will operate during the following hours: Today from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday & Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. For more information go to Teaming up 3 In a Box & Stylo Design, 1 Vissis & Aeolou, tel 210.331.6123. Bend & Designpark & NoLogo, 8 Protogenous, tel 211.400.2187. Bios & Belio & Raster-Noton, 84 Pireos, tel 210.342.5335. The Design Shop & Xavier Antin, 1 Kriezi, tel 210.322.3410. Mums Design & Maria Alipranti, 8 Kalogrioni, tel 210.331.2170. G & Company, 6 Miaouli, 210.322.3636. MNP & Ed Gill, 10 Voreou, tel 210.325.2832. Oxy & Eggandspoon, 12-14 Kolonou, 210.522.6609. Pi6 & Human Empire, 8 Melanthiou, 210.321.6050. Poor Designers & Dimitris Arvanitis, 1 Kriezi, 211.750.7390. Sereal Designers & Walm, 19 Miaouli, 210.321.5102. The Switch Design Agency & Fabio Novembre, 3 Sachtouri, tel 210.321.9034. Typical Mutations & Makebelieve, 21 Lepeniotou, tel 210.324.4400. We Design & Nobek Zeistein, 27 Aeschylou, tel 210.323.2414.