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Ecoweek Sends Message of Sustainability and Innovation from Aegina, Greece

Architectural tour with Anastasis Papadakis at ECOWEEK 2021 – © ECOWEEK 2021

The significance of sustainability and innovation in architecture, design and tourism was highlighted at the Ecoweek 2021 event took place on the Greek island of Aegina.

Held during August 29 – September 4, the event marked the 15th anniversary of NGO ECOWEEK and the 200th anniversary of Greece with Aegina as the first capital of I. Kapodistrias.

“ECOWEEK’s message at the Aegina events was a message of sustainability and innovation… We promoted the cultural heritage of Aegina, the protection of the natural environment, the utilization of natural resources, sustainable tourism and we developed in the online workshops ideas and proposals for sustainable practices with zero pollution,” said Elias Messinas, founder and president of ECOWEEK.

The event was held under the auspices of Ministries of Culture, Tourism, Rural Development and Island Policy, and the Municipality of Aegina.

Live events on Aegina

ECOWEEK 2021 events at the courtyard of the Folklore museum on Aegina, Greece – © ECOWEEK 2021 – Photographer: Kostas Arvilias

During ECOWEEK 2021 on Aegina, Greece, local and foreign participants, joint ECOWEEK for a tour of local architecture with architect Anastasis Papadakis; a free-hand architectural sketching session with architect Elias Messinas; a film screening of Andreas Dalsgaard’s film “The Human Scale” on Jan Gehl’s 40-year practice in alternative planning in cities and public spaces in Europe, USA, India and China; a discussion on sustainable tourism with Dr. Ioannis Pappas of GSTC and Green Evolution, and a presentation of the Marbles of the Parthenon international call for ideas initiative of ECOWEEK and PAREMVASI aiming towards a sustainable solution.

With the participation of Dimitris Georgiou of PAREMVASI and Areti Georgili, publisher of the Greek translation of Goeffrey Robertson’s book “Who Owns History?” All events took place at the courtyard of the Folklore Museum in the city of Aegina.

Online Lectures

The ECOWEEK 2021 online webinars were conducted via ZOOM and included the following speakers: Maria Anastasiadou and Elli Petridi of Little Architecture, who talked about design as a tool for creating new outdoor spaces for activity. Emese Pancsa of Compocity from Hungary, who spoke about the revival of Japan’s ancient practices in designing innovative home composting solutions.

The award-winning architect Arthur Mamou Mani from Britain who spoke about parametric design and its use in circular design and architecture with impressive examples of parametric structures from the USA, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The Austrian architect Ulrike Schartner of gaupenraub +/-, who presented social design projects in the city center of European cities – with the generous support of the Austrian Embassy. Architects Theodora Kyriafini and Fotini Lymperiadou of Euzen Architects, who presented examples of bioclimatic and ecological buildings in Greece and examples of spa facilities around the world. Their lecture served as an introduction to the design workshop of a thermal spa center in Souvala in Aegina.

Architect Christos Floros who spoke about the bioclimatic characteristics of traditional architecture in Greece and architect Maria Luisa Palumbo from Italy, who spoke about tourism and relocation in the Mediterranean region in the early 20th century, raising questions of sustainability and sustainable practices.

To view the recorded lectures:

Online design workshops

Following an intense week of innovation and sustainable design thinking, the ECOWEEK 2021 design workshops concluded on Saturday 4, 2021, with the online presentations of the ECOWEEK 2021 workshops.

W2 – Gamified Sustainability for Future Cities Workshop
Leader: Emese Pansca
Team: Keran An (Diane), Shiyu Wang (Sherry), Yan Wang (Maylor) and Xiashuang Gong (Helen).
Game as an activator for a sustainable lifestyle, where a more healthy and environmentally friendly activity (e.g. walking) gets rewarded with points. An initiative that combines other existing initiatives and apps, which will develop the concept of community and cooperation among different communities, towards recycling, sharing and reducing waste in a meaningful and fun way.

W4 – Re_[Design] Workshop Leaders: Ellie Petridi and Maria Anastasiadou
Team: Huijie Shi, Jet Zheng, Yiru Chen, Iliana Totou, and George Retsos.
The aim of the workshop was to design a series of interventions in the public space of Aegina, through a participatory process. The group identified the locations, and designed the methodology and steps, and developed initial ideas to be discussed with the local community, as a trigger for discussion and public participation. The interventions, like urban acupuncture, will develop public space for plural use.

W7 – Time-travelling through Placemaking in Aegina
Workshop Leaders:
Vivian Doumpa and Iris Perouliou
: Eleni Iro Papadopoulou, Konstantina Vaidou, Aliki Ioanna Papapetrou, Xinyue Hu, Junqi Liu, and Wnhui Lin.
The workshop identified eight locations in Aegina, where placemaking interventions would activate the spaces with the aim to turn visitors and tourists to act and feel like locals. The ideas developed create links to the history, culture, geography, topography, and agriculture of Aegina, helping create a web that ties people and locations together.
Among the experiences offered and enriched are the Fistiki Fest, the café shops on the seafront, the trails to Agios Nektarios Monastery, and more.

W8 – Bioclimatic Thermal Baths in Aegina
Workshop Leaders:
Theodora Kyriafini and Fotini Lymperiadou (EuZen Architecture) with Michail Floros, Thanasis Moloudis and Elias Messinas consultants.
Team: Charikleia Karavasili and Dimitra Karavasili.

Proposal for a Thermal Spa in Souvala, at Aegina, Greece – ECOWEEK 2021 Workshop W8

Thermal springs on Aegina are known and used since antiquity. A facility in Souvala has been standing abandoned for many years. A feasibility study of the springs has also been delayed due to financial reasons, therefore delaying any real knowledge of the current capacity of the springs for potential development and use.
This workshop consulted with experts in the field of thermal springs and combined the expertise of bioclimatic and sustainable design experts, with the aim to produce a realistic program and architectural proposal to a location close to the existing abandoned structure – which is renovated incorporated into the new design as reception and exhibition space.
The new facilities of 1200 sq.m. offers a first class natural spa facility for Aegina, which may develop further year-round tourism to the island, and the hotel facilities near-by.

To review the workshop panel presentation go to

To view the recorded workshops presentation go to

Proposal for a Thermal Spa in Souvala, at Aegina, Greece – ECOWEEK 2021 Workshop W8

ECOWEEK is a non-profit organization with the passion to change people’s habits, established with the mission to raise environmental awareness and to engage the public in promoting the principles of social and environmental sustainability through design

Since 2005, ECOWEEK has developed programs in 17 countries and a network in 56 countries. ECOWEEK workshops of design interventions and placemaking have made an impact in more than 30 cities, through more than 200 sustainable design workshops engaging more than 4500 students and professionals, and hundreds of local stakeholders.

The Greek Travel Pages (GTP) was a communication sponsor for the Ecoweek 2021 event.

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