Chaos of Athens doesn’t bother her, she calls it an ‘underrated city,’ where old and new make interesting mix

What do you think of this city? I like Athens. That’s why I come here often, almost once a year in the past. I wish I could come more often. I think it’s an underrated city. There are lots of lovely things in Athens, like its hills. What’s interesting about Athens is that although it’s by the sea it turns inward. And the mix of old and new creates a very interesting effect. As for what they say about it being chaotic, I don’t mind; it’s fine as it is. All cities with narrow streets face the same problem but I have the impression the new public transport infrastructure has made improvements. City centers weren’t designed for so many cars. You spent some years in Beirut. Did you notice any similarities with Athens? I grew up in Iraq, but I spent a few years in Beirut before I settled permanently in London permanently. I left Beirut in the mid-1970s. Yes, Beirut and Athens are similar – they have the same weather, the same light. Beirut has changed a lot, but I really love it. Is there any likelihood that you might design something for Athens? Not as far as I know (she laughs out loud for the first time, breaking the ice). Yes, it’s strange that after coming here for so many years I haven’t done anything. Maybe something will happen. I talk about Athens, but I don’t know it all that well. I’ve got lots of friends here. I might come just for the evening and spend it at a seaside club. What priorities should a large city like London or Athens have in 2005? For me the first thing is to do away with poverty and not have factories in the city. This interview was translated from the Greek.