Kítos is an Athens-based organisation for researching, gathering and publishing with a focus on design in fast-changing Mediterranean landscapes. Kítos was founded by George Kafka and George Papam in 2023, building upon four years of informal scheming on the need for a new space in Athens to both celebrate and critique the built environment.
George Papam is a geographer and editor. He studies infrastructures, contemporary mobilities beyond tourism, forms of actually-existing geoengineering, and the urbanization of the countryside. His current project looks at the overlaps between the hospitality industry and the production of environmental science. His writings have appeared in edited volumes and journals such as Footprint, Log, Clog, Šum, and Cartha. He has co-edited the books Athens, misprinted (Futura, 2019) and The Beach Machine (kyklàda.press, 2022). George holds an MA in environmental studies from Yale and an MSc in human geography from Harokopio university. He has previously worked as a researcher and teaching fellow for Yale University and Strelka Institute. Since 2021 he is the managing editor for kyklàda.press.
George Kafka is a writer, editor and curator. He is currently Future Observatory Curator at the Design Museum in London, where he runs the Design Researchers in Residence programme alongside other curatorial projects responding to the climate emergency. As a writer, he has contributed to publications such as BBC Culture, e-flux Architecture, The Architectural Review and many others on topics across architecture, ecology and contemporary culture. As an editor he has produced publications for Theatrum Mundi, the Future Architecture Platform, the Design Museum and the University of the Arts Berlin (UdK). As a curator, he has worked on exhibitions, festivals, events and workshops for the Design Museum, Oslo Architecture Triennale, Open House Worldwide, Onassis Stegi and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. He has an MSc in urban studies from UCL.
As Athens experiences another summer of unmanageable temperatures and stares at its burning horizon, the need for public discourse on spatial challenges becomes increasingly urgent. Kítos emerges in response to what we see as a shortfall in existing platforms and institutions dedicated to design, architecture and broader spatial practices in the city. We believe that this is not so much a problem of lacking ideas or practices, but one of insufficient opportunities to promote, discuss, oxygenate and otherwise cultivate these ideas. In this light, Kítos aspires to build and strengthen the infrastructure around spatial practitioners working in Athens and the broader Mediterranean.
Kítos will achieve this through research, gathering and publishing.
—Research will be both self-initiated and tailored to support other design practitioners.
—By gathering, Kítos will host and facilitate conversations between practitioners and different publics. As well as public outreach, Kítos aims to connect stakeholders from within different industries, to create opportunities for funding and other project development.
—Publishing is a way to disseminate the findings and outcomes of the platform, across Athens and the broader Mediterranean.
If this is the long-term plan for Kítos, in the context of the one-year LINA fellowship we want to propose a first act of research that will help us both start building our network and define the scope of our work. As a next step we aim to map the designers and other spatial practitioners in Greece and the wider Eastern Mediterranean that are responding to the climate emergency. In particular, we are interested in those working beyond traditional design fields, such as GIS cartographers, environmental anthropologists, foresight strategists, geographers and others. Registering their challenges and needs will define Kitos’ roadmap.