The Archipelago Studio is a year-long Masters of Architecture Research and Design Thesis Studio at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto, supervised by Petros Babasikas.

There may be circumstances - ways of measuring that island - that cause its circumference to be infinite

This page features Research and Thesis work from January 2020 to February 2022:  7+10 explorations of the Archipelago as a projective model for Architecture and Urbanism against limit conditions of a contemporary City/Sea.  Research and Excerpts will be updated during  Fall 2021 with new stories & explorations of Architecture vs Crisis.

I thought of people struggling within this speck of the world against silence and obliteration


Atlas:  guide:  shelter: commons:  sanctuary. Unlike Ungers’, Koolhaas’ or Shinkel’s, this Archipelago is both figure and ground.  A mesh of vectors, actors, field, objects.



The CITY/SEA is not metaphorical.  It does not contain iconic nodes and tabula rasa.  It is deep.  Charged with information, it generates relationality, hybridity, resilience.

The CITY/SEA is an urban condition which we have inherited and where we are obliged to act - it forms a subaqueous and urban fabric of activists, aquaculture, backyards, beehives, builders, caiques, cloisters, continental shelves, contours, corner stores, cycles, desert islets, domestic urbanism, entropic gardens, farmers, flotsam, forests, free zones, garbage patches, grandtourism, hybrid creatures, hydrographics, hyper-objects, indigenous instruments, internet cables, invasive species, itinerant populations, landfill, laneways, markets, metissage, migrations, microplastics, mud flats, navigators, nuns, piers, photovoltaics, polycarbonates, poachers, port machines, pools, pressure points, rangers, red sand, reefs, refineries, relationality, ruins of modernism, sandbanks, senior citizens, sheds, sheet metal, shellfish, sovereignties, stressed yet resilient mammals, suburban families, temporary structures, terraces, trenches, unaccompanied minors, the unsmiling rock, urban voids, walkscapes, and wind turbines.

Stations, vessels and cycles of Civitas and Architectural Identity mark and navigate the fabric.  These are works of incremental urbanism, temporary or incomplete.  They are inductive, because  the CITY/SEA cannot be controlled.

I wondered whether, in little countries such as ours, economic prospects (their inspiration) ought not to be more like the beach at Le Diamant:  cyclical, changeable, mutating, running through an economy of disorder whose detail would be meticulously calculated but whose comprehensive view would change rapidly depending on different circumstances.

That is what we have to shake off.  To return to the sources of our cultures and the mobility of their relational content, in order to have a better appreciation of this disorder and to modulate every action according to it.  To adapt action to the various possibilities in turn.


Can commoning experiments succeed only if we distance ourselves from the current condition?


There are three things:
to walk,
to see,
and to see what you see.


The 3 parts feed into each other.  Exquisite corps maps and different projects in (ex)Urban territories of Athens and the Icarian Sea (1.) produce methodologies, thesis questions, and moral concerns (2.)  These start new projects across the world vis-à-vis different urban Crises (3.)

The discovery of a networked Agent (an organization, cooperative, a synergy of institutions including our own design studio), driving social change, is a turning point for the projects.  The Archipelago model gives an expanded understanding of ‘SITE’:  a MESH of actors, vectors, fields and objects.  This connects us - directly or remotely - to the effects of climate crisis and the decline of the commons.

Invested in these networked sites we design spaces of commoning, sanctuary, or shelter - for social justice, integration, conservation, renewal, public space and, sometimes, the pursuit of joy and freedom - in ways that Might Actually Work.

(1)  Timothy Morton, “Molten Entities,” New Geographies 08: Island (2016): 72

(3) Pier Vittorio Aureli & Maria Shéhérazade Giudici, “Islands:  The Settlement from Property to Care,” Log 47: Overcoming Carbon Form (Fall 2019): 191

(5) Benton MacKaye, “ATC Members’ Handbook.”
(2) Édouard Glissant, “The Black Beach,” in Poetics of Relation, trans. Betsy Wing (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1997), 125-126

(4)  Jonathan Pugh, “Relationality and island studies in the Anthropocene,” Island Studies Journal, 13(2), 2018:  105

Archipelago Studio 2020-21: Jennifer Bai, Ivy Chan, Atieh Daneshian, Yvonne Fu, Safina Moloo, Irina Rouby-Apelbaum, Lynn Sang, JiaJia Shi, Stephanie Tung

Archipelago Studio 2021-22:  Meena Alcozai, Latoya Barnett, Alejandra Chauca Velez, Delaney McVeigh, Keenan Ngo, Veronika Salamun, Priyanka Shah,  Kon Shin, Hongtao Shen, Dipra Shetty

© Archipelago Studio @ the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto.