Designing for a different future. Love, dignity, solidarity | C.Alefantis, L.Lazarou, D.Potiropoulos at MDFF Greece—Athens 2020 | First Edition

Our lives are nowadays subjects to constant change and thus require a constant adaptation of our survival strategies. We are continually confronted with developments in urban conditions and in our social environment, as well as challenges in our relational and social skills. How can one merge the notions of love, solidarity, education, participation, social inclusion, creativity, social entrepreneurship and innovation with social and environmental awareness?
Founder and editor-in-chief of the street magazine Shedia (Σχεδία) Christos Alefantis, award-winning architect Dimitris Potiropoulos, and Michelin star Chef Lefteris Lazarou discuss the actions and the spaces of Shedia, an excellent example of a sensitive and environmentally conscious social design: Shedia Art upcycling programme as a tool for creating new opportunities and new ways of dealing with established consumer behaviours, Shedia Home as a social innovation hub that promotes the exchange of skills, personal stories and visions and redefines the sense of community and belonging, and finally gastronomy as a manifestation of intimacy, love and food for the soul.

Christos Alefantis
“Ι was born in Melbourne, Australia, where my parents immigrated in the mid-50s. I work as a journalist of more than 25 years. I am the founder and Editor in Chief of “shedia”, Greece’s only street paper, which launched in March 2013. Ιn 2006, I founded the “Kick Out Poverty” campaign in Greece, incorporating the Greek Homeless Football Club. It is an initiative which uses sport -and in particular, football- as a way to activate homeless people and support them in their quest to rebuild their lives. Since 2007, The Greek Homeless Team is a member of the international social and sporting movement “Homeless World Cup””.

Dimitris Potiropoulos
Dimitris Potiropoulos runs the Potiropoulos + Partners firm in collaboration with Liana Nella-Potiropoulou. At the same time, he publishes articles, gives lectures and has been repeatedly distinguished in architectural competitions. He is a founding member of the Hellenic Institute of Architecture. In 2009 the publishing house Potamos produced the monograph “Potiropoulos D + L Architects” that included selected works of the firm from the period 1989-2009. In 2014, the Potiropoulos + Partners firm was mentioned in the publication “Readings of Greek Postwar Architecture”, as one of the 18 firms that were selected by the author in his attempt at a comprehensive overview of post-war architecture in Greece. The firm has recently been awarded with the International Architizer A + Award, the German Design Award, the World Architecture Community Award and the A Design Award for various projects.

Lefteris Lazarou
Lefteris Lazarou was born in 1952, the son of a ship cook. His life course was determined quite early on: At the age of fifteen, he began to accompany his father on trips around the world, discovering a wealth of national cuisines. His profile was further shaped by his own professional experience of cooking on board for people of different nationalities and cultures. He began to intervene in Greek cuisine recipes and adapt them to different tastes and eating habits.
In October 1987 he realised his dream and opened his restaurant VAROULKO in Piraeus. Not only did Lazarou put seafood in a high-end restaurant for the first time, but he introduced the public to simple every-day fish, making it an integral part of his creations. By now, his success has turned many of his dishes into classics. Lazarou has won numerous awards throughout his career. The most notable distinction came in 2002 in the form of a Michelin star – the first ever given to a Greek cuisine chef – which he retains to this day.
Yet his activities are not limited to this. In the past years, he has traveled to Argentina, Japan, the USA and Australia, as well as to many European capitals, as an ambassador of Greek cuisine, playing an active part in promoting it abroad. In the USA, he gave classes at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA).
The versatile chef has never stopped developing his cooking. With ingredients such as creativity, influences from his travels, a passionate quest for exquisite raw materials and an excellent technique, he composes dishes that are distinguished for their inspirational and harmonious flavors, merging classic and refreshing tastes. After many years of traveling around different neighborhoods in Piraeus and Athens, his restaurant has anchored at the Mikrolimano marina in Piraeus as VAROULKO SEASIDE, offering excellent experiences of Greek creative cuisine and hospitality.