Traces of Commerce (Phase B) → Exhibition design and curation, Athens


«Traces of Commerce» first began in May 2014 as an initiative to reactivate a dead zone of Athens, “Stoa Emporon” (Arcade of Merchants) and its small shops, a part of the city which has been lifeless, empty of commercial activities, for more than 20 years.

The fundamental goals of this project were, on the one hand to give life back to a neuralgic space of the city with important urban specificities and spatial structure and on the other to create a framework of synergy among creative interdisciplinary collaborations, forms of local governance and public organizations. Critical parameter of this project, based on which we defined the concept of urban regeneration, was the active participation of citizens, in the scale of the neighborhood, into the productive activities of the program.

Today, following the same procedure, the «TRACES OF COMMERCE 2: NEW CREATIVE CELLS OF EXHCHANGE» explore a new model of exchange. For 3- 6 months, artists, designers, technicians, curators, architects, artisans, designers, musicians, cooks, inventors, small business partnerships and all kinds of young artists are invited to use the empty shops of the Arcade, free, as an experimental workshop space (laboratories) and explore new ideas, while using the space also as showrooms for exhibiting their products/projects. In return, at least twice every month, every shop should “open” to the public and the new shop owners should pass on their knowledge in any form: workshop, exhibition, projection, presentations etc.

10 empty stores in Stoa Emporon are assigned, free of utility costs and rent, from the 1st of December until the 15th of March to the qualified entrepreneurs who will transform the ground floor of the Social Security Fund for the Merchants building into a transparent cluster for creative production and exhibition.