The Delos Network aims to bring together for the first time scholars who are currently looking into this fascinating period of intellectual history; with a view not only to better understand its significance but also to address how the Delos debates compare with and feed into contemporary concerns about demographic pressures and environmental sustainability and their relation to historical precedents by architects, planners and others. Furthermore, the network will connect researchers and practitioners in history, architecture and planning with key stakeholders from professional architecture, architectural education, built environment policy and grassroots organizations currently exploring the intersections of design, environmental concerns and historical continuity.
The objectives of this network are:
1) Map out the intellectual agenda of the Delos Symposia in relation to the dominant political and intellectual ‘geographies’ of the 1960s-70s, tracing the ways in which urban design solutions were sought in the classical past, for example the study of ancient Greek cities as prototypes, as well as in new construction and machine technologies.
2) Analyse how the conceptual underpinnings of the Delos Symposia were channelled into practical planning tools and subsequently applied in urban projects, exemplified in Doxiadis’ worldwide planning and consultancy business in the 1960s and 1970s and, for example, his masterplan for the new capital of Pakistan, Islamabad.
3) Address the ways in which the preoccupations, themes and environmental solutions explored at the Delos Symposia relate to current discourses and practices on sustainable urban design and landscape urbanism.
4) Explore the circumstances for the decline of faith in the massive, centrally-coordinated architectural and planning solutions in the 1970s and contextualize these vis-à-vis contemporary criticisms about the utopian character of urban planning initiatives today.
These objectives will be addressed in workshops that will be video-captured for edited broadcast on the network’s website. Work presented and conclusions reached in the workshops will provide the basis for an edited volume, the first comprehensively to lay out and analyse the intellectual agenda of the Delos Symposia and its repercussions in planning initiatives from the 1960s to today.
Image copyright: Constantinos A. Doxiadis Archives, Photographs, File 34172, no. 766. © Constantinos and Emma Doxiadis Foundation