top of page


Urban Design on the Move: Five Stories About Implementing A Europan Project", Berlin: jovis


Urban Design on the Move: Five Stories About Implementing A Europan Project", Berlin: jovis
A short description:
With a Latourian Actor-Network Theory approach, Urban Design on the Move follows a young design team’s transformative journey of implementing the Europan 4 winning project at Heraklion’s
old city waterfront in Crete, Greece. During the design trajectory, the team mediates several controversies that become decisive for the project’s outcome. Together with Hercules, a fictional
character and friend of the team, they accompany the transformation of the competition’s design strategies into implemented urban practices. In a unique storytelling format, the author unpacks the team’s design diplomacy skills in promoting their idea of an open and porous city welcoming heterogeneous publics – laying bare the informal and unsaid aspects of the design
implementation process.

Story Placing Ceremony (Agia Phyla)


Ceremony of placing stories of the daily life of the residents of Agia Phyla, on the floor of the central square and on the sidewalks of the project under construction at the core of the settlement!
Researchers: S. Stratis, M. Chatzisotiriou (AA&U and Inb2instudio
Supervision: M. Chatzisotiriou
AN.C. Constructions LTD.
Ceremony organizer: LUCY Urban Studies and Planning Laboratory, University of Cyprus.

The work of AA&U in the Cyprus Pavilion of the 15th Venice Biennale of Architecture


AA&U for Architecture, Art and Urbanism is one of the partners both for the content of the Cyprus Pavilion (the "Hands-on Famagusta" project), entitled "Contested Fronts: Commoning Practices for Conflict Transformation" curated by Socrates Stratis, as well as for the design and implementation of the exhibition at Palazzo Malipiero. Images by DSL studio

AA&U has been part of the production team of the "Guide to Common Urban Imaginaries in Contested Spaces: the Hands-on Famagusta project" edited by Socrates Stratis, coming out this month by jovis, Berlin


Order your "Guide to Common Urban Imaginaries in Contested Spaces: the Hands-on Famagusta project" coming out this month by jovis, Berlin edited by Socrates Stratis at Can collective urban practices contribute to peace processes in divided cities? How can they be used in a targeted manner as part of urban policy, to challenge dominant divisive narratives and offer alternatives to segregating urban reconstruction approaches? The book is dedicated to this role of architecture and urban planning as a political instrument for transforming ethnic conflicts into urban controversies towards the city’s commons. The town of Famagusta in Cyprus serves as an example, a town characterized by polarizing narratives and burdened by memories loaded with conflict. In order to transform the contested territories into areas of common interest and action, the “Hands-on Famagusta“ project team developed methods for urban transformation. The guide brings together practical examples of this project and international articles from relevant literature, thereby communicating strategies and tactics for the formation and spatial organization of the collective. It actively encourages deeply contested societies to invest in common urban imaginaries. Socrates Stratis is the curator of the Cyprus Pavilion at the 15th Architecture Biennial 2016 in Venice with the project entitled “Contested Fronts: Commoning Practices for Conflict Transformation”. The “Hands-on Famagusta” project is the main part of the Cyprus Pavilion together with six international practices, networks and pedagogical programs: “Archis Interventions SEE”, “Build Up”, “City Reparo”, “Institute of Threshold”, “Mapping Controversies”, “Passages”.

Hands-on Famagusta presents: Model of the whole city of Famagusta & Tri-Lingual Web Platform


Projecting Common Urban Future for a Post-Conflict Famagusta ---------------------------- Launch Event: Saturday, November 28th, 2015 - from 17:00 Venue: Sts. Peter and Paul church / Buğday Cami, Famagusta ---------------------------- The Hands-on Famagusta project team cordially invites you to the launch event for the Model of the whole city of Famagusta and the Tri-Lingual Web Platform ( The event is set to take place on November 28th, 2015 - from 17:00 at the Sts. Peter and Paul church / Buğday Cami in Famagusta. The exhibits will remain open for the public from 27 – 29 of November, 2015, from 10:00 – 18:00.

Hands-on Famagusta ON THE ROAD


The model of the whole city of Famagusta in a successful "Avant Première" on the side walk in front of the Department of Architecture, University of Cyprus, on Friday 20th of November 2015. The "Hands-on Famagusta" team was promoting, to the passers-by, the Launch event that will take place on the 28th of November in Sts Peter and Paul Church in the old city of Famagusta.



On Saturday, 17th of October a group of Greek Speaking and Turkish Speaking Cypriots gathered in the old city of Famagusta hosted by Masder to discuss about the forthcoming translation of the Hands-on Famagusta web-platform into Turkish and Greek.

Interview of Socrates Stratis and Emre Akbil were guests at Sigmalive with Eftyhia Andreou on Hands-on Famagusta project


Must watch! 15 minutes of in-depth Hands-on Famagusta: Socrates Stratis and Emre Akbil were guests at Sigmalive with Eftyhia Andreou

“Imagine Famagusta! Encouraging common visions for a post-conflict city” Key Note Speech in BUILD PEACE 2015


Socrates Stratis with Esra Can Akbil, gave a Key Note speech at the international conference Build Peace 2015 in Nicosia Cyprus. They talked about the Hands-on Famagusta web-platform addressing the the role of technology to Build Peace, one of the main concerns of the conference. AA&U is actively involved in the making of the project as well as the graphic design of the webplatform.

The Hands-on Famagusta logo is released


Get ready for frequent flights to unexpected territories. The Action Dove, the Hands-on Famagusta logo, is gradually getting graffiti presence on urban walls.

Hands-on Famagusta Video Release


Hands-on Famagusta Video Release! "If you could decide now about the future of Famagusta in a reunified Cyprus, then get ready to explore and play with Imaginaries of Famagusta!" Watch the video here:

Honorable Mention to the AA & U proposal to the Architectural Competition for Connecting the Archeological Sites in Paphos


The AA & U proposal entitled "Open City" gained an honorable mention to the Architectural Competition about the connection between the Archeological sites in Paphos.

AA & U work was presented by Socrates Stratis in a talk titled "The Cypriot Buffer Zone and Architecture's Agencies" , at the Home For Cooperation, Nicosia


Socrates was invited by Costas Constantinou and Maria Hatzipavlou to give a talk in the context of an International Summer Program of the University of Cyprus on Peace and Conflict: the life of the buffer zone. Socrates presented his research on architecture's agencies that have a critical take on the buffer zone. He showed some of AA & U's projects that address such issues.

References to AA&U practice in the Swiss Journal HOCHPARTERRE


On another track, Socrates Stratis, founder of the interdisciplinary agency of AA & U (For Architecture, Art and Urbanism), is among the few to establish networks between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot professionals. In the Imaginary Famagusta project (2012), a team of architects and urbanists explored planning processes about the future of Famagusta after a possible political resolution in Cyprus, proposing urban strategies and tactics as reconciliation practices in contested territories. (By Petros Phokaides)

AA&U is part of the collaboration winning a Grant for the "Hands-on-Famagusta" project


The “Hands-on-Famagusta” project comprises of inter-related activities, which use participatory urban design processes to facilitate dialogue about the urban future of Famagusta. The project contributes to the construction of common ground between groups in conflict and supports the planning of contemporary urban environments. It is based on the on-going work by the Laboratory of Urbanism, University of Cyprus (LU2CY), Imaginary Famagusta (I.F.), and ALA/Stratis. The “IF Team” (Imaginary Famagusta Team) is an initiative started by a group of architects and urban planners handling the Hands-On Famagusta project. The “IF Team” will be responsible for: the project coordination, development of urban tools and website content, web design and game interface coordination. Project Leader: Socrates Stratis Project Coordination Team: Emre Akbil, Esra Can Akbil, Nektarios Christodolou, Munevver Ozgur Ozersay Production Team: Chrysanthe Constantinou ( AA&U) Thalia Charalambous, ( AA&U) Architecture students and young graduates

Socrates Stratis was invited to give a talk About Urban Awareness in the conference SOCIALLY ENGAGED DESIGN


Part of the presentation was about the role of chrono-urbanistic practices in creating active co-existences in the contemporary urban environment. Socrates used examples from the international project "Urban-A-Where?" that he curated. AA & U designed the mobile exhibition to support the event plus the "Magic Carpet" that was unfolded across streets in Nicosia to celebrated pedestrian crossing.

Finalist at the CURATE, the global competition promoted by Qatar Museums Authority and Fondazione Prada


Maria Loizidou's curating proposal titled "Directly Mild" with the exhibition design by Socrates Stratis (AA&U) has been selected one of the twenty finalists of Curate, the global competition promoted by Qatar Museums Authority and Fondazione Prada

The UAW BOOK LAUNCH edited by S. Stratis


University of Cyprus, Department of Architecture Bernd Vlay presents the international publication "The UAW-Book. About Urban Awareness", through the theme of curating, ed. by Socrates Stratis, including a contribution of AA & U

Vienna-Nicosia: Urban Challenges For Contemporary Cities


Socrates Stratis gives a lecture with Bernd Vlay on contemporary challenges of sustainable urban design, comparing dynamics of Nicosia with Vienna at Melina Mercouri Theatre, Nicosia The lecture was preceded by a mobile workshop on public transport with the rest of the seminar participants

An e-DIY Presentation: about AA&U For Architecture, Art and Urbanism


Socrates Stratis has performed an e-Do It Yourself Presentation for the University of Idaho, USA. Socrates invited by David Franco, Assistant Professor of Architecture has introduced an alternative way of communicating the work of AA&U to the students of Architecture at the University of Idaho. Instead of giving a preset lecture through skype he proposed to the students to study the AA&U website and give to him a list of preferable projects only when the skype connection was on. Socrates had to improvise in order to create links across the projects.

Urban strategies and tactics for reconciliation processes in contested territories: Famagusta, Cyprus


Socrates Stratis is invited by the Institut of Urban and Regional Development (IURD) where he is currently a Visiting Scholar to present a joint research project with Imaginary Famagusta, ALA Partnership and University of Cyprus This talk is about practices of architecture and urban design that can have an active agent role in contested territories. They may participate in the construction of common ground across ethno-religious divides by contributing into the creation of common references and imaginaries, prerequisite for any reconciliation process.

The "Pending Memorial" proposal receives the 2nd prize


The Pending Memorial Project is about a creative critique, an objection to the fact that the Ministry of Defense of Cyprus, whose Minister was one of the major actors convicted in court because of his responsibility for the catastrophic explosion on July 11th 2011, became the sponsor for a Memorial for the 13 people killed in that event. The project’s objection extended to the fact that the memorial should not only be about the 13 people killed but also about the destroyed landscape and electric power-station and for all Cypriot citizens who had realized that day that their State was incapable to protect them from such explosion. Plus, the Pending Memorial, creatively criticized the fact that the process of remembering should not only take place at the explosion area but it should take over public spaces in the cities plus it should penetrate the everyday practice of the Cyprus State. The design proposal manipulated the competition's terms of reference to allow such critic to take place. It demonstrated in fact the need for political engagement of any design proposal You can see more details on the project on the projects' archive.

Finally, the UAW BOOK is out!


It is the publication about the "Urban-A-Where?" activities that took place during the fall of 2012, edited by Socrates Stratis, designed by Michalis Paparounis, Futura Publications, Athens and published by DAMDI.

AA & U work presented by Socrates Stratis in Parsons New School of Design Graduate program, NYC


Socrates Stratis, invited by the Professor Lydia Matthews, presented the lecture about Spatial Practices' Ethical Dilemmas in Contested Spaces using the work of AA&U, to a graduate course on Social Practices on the 14th of October 2013.

Architect's Notebooks Publication by DAMDI Seoul Korea


Drawings and texts of Socrates Stratis about design thinking are published by DAMDI in Architect's Notebooks Edition

Socrates Stratis invited to participate to the Quartet in Urbanism in the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna


The title of the presentation was: Designerly translocalities- between Urban Stories and Fairy Tales

Research on Famagusta Presented in Belfast Queen's University by Socrates Stratis


Confronting Fragmentation in Contested Spaces: The case of Famagusta Cyprus

bottom of page