MEDS Spetses '19

10th edition 200 design students 40 different countries 12 projects Spetses, Greece 26July till 12 August 2019

What is MEDS workshop

MEDS workshop “Meetings of Design Students” is an international workshop that takes part each summer in a different country, focusing on various issues, themes, topics and settings that will help any designer expand their expertise. It is a chance to get in touch with diverse approaches to design, different building techniques, traditions and skills. MEDS workshop is both practical and educational because it focuses not only on creative theoretical designs, but actually compels participants to execute these designs during the 2-week span of the workshop. You can apply to MEDS as a tutor or as a participant.


handing down from generation to generation

Spetses is a greek island that combines historical richness, tradition and natural beauty. Through time, the island became extremely touristic and the consequences of tourism have affected its identity. In order to serve the enormous numbers of tourists the island hosts each year, locals had to leave their traditional professions and are occupied with new jobs that refer to the island’s new touristic identity. So, traditional professions are currently dying.

“Memniso” in ancient greek means “remember”

The idea of the workshop is to bring these traditional professions together with contemporary crafts and design by exploring new capabilities and learning techniques from expert local craftsmen. The goals of the workshop are to not only learning from the locals, but also exchanging knowledge and sharing skills.

Spetses: a travel in time

Spetses is a small island located near the eastern Peloponnese coast. Spetses is known as “pityousa” which means “pine covered”. The amazing combination of pine and sea creates spectacular views of natural beauty. At the same time, it maintains features that remain unchanged over time, like traditional architecture and means of transport.

The most common modes of transport are walking, horse-drawn carriages, bicycles, mopeds, and motorcycles. Spetses is an island boasting a long naval tradition, is famous for its significant contribution to the 1821 War of Independence. The island has managed to retain its individual traditional character thanks to its well-preserved grand captain mansions. Even though it is a well preserved picturesque island its traditional identity, referring to the shipbuilding, carriage construction and many other professions, is now leaving its place to a touristic identity.

Traditional crafts

This year, MEDS workshop revolves around traditional occupations. Either characteristic of the island, or practiced among all of Greece, the following professions will be the main source of inspiration for all projects: Shipbuilding, Textile weaving, Pebble decorations, Carriage construction, Beekeeping, Carpentry, Metalwork and Greek lettering. As always, there will be photography and documentation projects as well! The primary goal of Meds Spetses ’19 is adapting the traditional techniques in today’s way of thinking and inspire young designers to come up with new ideas. This process, the modernization of our heritage, the instinct that makes us preserve our cultural products, this is Memniso.


three roles in the process of knowledge sharing

The role of MENTOR

The role of mentor is introduced for the first time in MEDS, as a teacher and a guide for the tutors.

Mentors are local craftsmen who will support and collaborate with the tutors while developing and executing their projects. They will give their input and advice for projects selected, and they will we an active role in executing them. During the workshop, each team will be able to consult their mentor, use their workspaces and tools. Tutors can also help mentors find new ways to use their knowledge and evolve their professions and ideas.


The Project tries to asimilate the spirit of Spetses redirecting the focus to the most powerful identity points of the island: the docks. In this situation, the intervention “emerges from the sea” like ancient ruins of antique boats. Now the traditional support rods of ships change its structural-floating function to a more suggesting or thought-provoking on: to claim the importance of tradition. Nowadays, inhabitants from Spetses or the tourist who are not in touch with the identitary nautical lifestyle can be an active part of it in a very different way, for example, by walking inside it through a promenade that ends in the sea, a focus point to look to what has always been in front of our eyes.   Adrian Alfonso, Architect Yacme Mangrane, Architect

The focus of Triton is on the traditional craft of shipbuilding and its risk to vanish into oblivion. By giving an abandoned boat a new purpose, we want to attract the passer-by attention. Besides this one main installation, the participants may attempt to realize few street furniture or the like that will be set in Anargyrios. As far as possible we will reuse wood. Boards will be installed aside, which shall inform about the traditional crafts and its endangerment, the other projects on Spetses and the global collaboration of MEDS. Hence in our team we will need a variety of skills: Other than those who would like to construct, we will need people keen in journalism, graphics and photography. Let’s make a statement!   Christoph Uckermark, Industrial Designer Anthony Zgheib, Architect and Urban Designer 

By combining traditional way of textile weaving with a contemporary approach, participants will, along with the tutors, play around with shading design. Under My Umbrella is about learning Greek culture through the media of dance in order to recreate patterns and design for shading object for the one of Spetses’ sunny beaches. The creative possibilities are infinite, meaning that throughout the project, team will decide about techniques and materials, having in mind to use as much recycled material as possible. This project is a creativity opportunity to build from the sketch to the final product, which will in the end contribute to welfare of islands residents.   Francielly Kaucz, Fashion Designer – Marta Badurina, Industrial Designer –


We seek inspiration in the primary essence of the art of pebble decoration, which for us is to give meaning to individual elements by combining them. Each fragment, pebble at that time, carries its own energy, but this energy is multiplied when combined with other fragments. By creating images, patterns and textured surfaces, they become an integral part of the area in which they were created. In the Pebble Rebel project, participants are challenged to interpret the traditional technique of pebble decoration, and get creative with different combinations and materials to express their own perception of the island via product design in a variety of scales.   Anastasia Florou, Architect Mado Milosi, Architect Yiouli Beltsou, Architect

Do you love coffee? Do you like avocados? Well, you should thank the bees for these and many other goodies. Their existence however is being threatened more and more by the modern world. This pavillion aimes to promote apiarian culture through the organisation of spatial elements combined with materials and artwork, in order to deliver to the visitor a full experience, artistic as well as educational. Beekeeping is a profession which requires specific knowledge about bees, and this pavillion seeks to transmit this knowledge to non-professionals by theory and demonstration.The pavillion imposes the visitor to move in a way which is similar to the waggle dance. The itinerary is not merely a naive imitation, but a chance to fully understand the world of bees. It starts with the artwork related to their life cycle, continues with the flower corner, which corresponds with their final activity and it ends with their ultimate product: honey.   Erida Bendo, Architecture Student Sarah Dobjani, Architecture Student

The idea of the proposal is about ​​linking the logic of the loom with the structure of the interior of a traditional house. From this connection results a modern interior design proposal. In a modern room, parallel to one direction of the site, are placed planks that fold and create recesses and protrusions that will constitute the furniture of the room and will receive its functions. The planks are at equal distances and form the wefts of the loom that are attached to a wooden frame. On the planks, in the other direction of the space, various fabrics or multicolored ropes are woven alternately up and down, which together can create different patterns. Finally, a new “topography” of the room, a carpet covering the floor and the walls of the room, revisits the relationship between the surfaces and brings in all the functions (sleeping area, fireplace, living room, dining area, kitchen, storage).   Georgia Drampalou, Architecture Student Dimitra Vrenta, Architecture Student

As the location we choose a beach, which was our inspiration for the whole process. Our project is called breakwater because it is a kind of barrier to the sea. The idea is to show disappearing crafts, pay attention of the people visiting the pavilion.  The proposing structure is intended to lie down and enjoy the beautiful Greek seacoast. The pavilion is a place for socialization and integration of all the people – inhabitants and those visiting the island.  With our construction we want to improve their time spent there, let them choose the most comfortable spot and position, especially in case when the casual guest forgot his towel and doesn’t want to have sand in his panties.   Joanna Wirkus, Architecture student Natalia Lipczuk, Architecture student

This pavilion is designed to raise awareness of the sea-level rise that is likely to flood large parts of the Greek coastline by 2100 in order to encourage people to take a more active role in confronting climate change. The exterior form of the pavilion resembles the plan of a sea-vessel that has been vertically extruded. This effect is achieved by using a form that is a combination of alternating acute and obtuse angles. The structure is made almost entirely of charred wood which gives it the same aged appearance as the old shipyards and traditional vessels of Spetses. A cut at the base of the pavilion invites visitors inside where they will discover a room with a floor of water, capped by a suspended recycled traditional greek boat. The space will figuratively resonate with the tension between these two elements. Visitors move around the room by using movable steps. A ladder invites them up to a roof-deck where they can sit in the boat and imagine what the harbour would be like if the water rose to that level.   Kieran Donnellan, Architect, Multimedia Programmer and Software Engineer

This workshop is a pedagogical framework which encourages participants to seek for new perspective in discussing, looking at and making of architecture. By looking different creative disciplines, we ask how to activate new relationships that architecture can have to the context, and architecture students to their education. Not a typical building workshop, the intention is to learn from none-architecture disciplines primarily the gastronomy and cooking, the outcome is to create spaces for the public to bring closeness and understand relationships, whether it be a spatial installation, a dinner party or permanent furniture. The workshop outcome remains open to be defined by the tutor with the participants.   Andy Yu, Architect and Teacher – Alexander Eriksson Furunes, Architect –

Inspired by the sensory garden, our proposal aims to create a path that will awaken the senses through different qualities, created in the garden of the Monastery. A path that is being unfolded like the “thread of life”, thus the visitors will experience the transition from childhood to adulthood, to mature age. The different phases of life are being visualized with specific flowers and plants that, combined with wooden benches, are forming areas of staying or walking. The idea is that people will go through an experiential path that will stimulate their senses and thoughts. Moreover, our sensory garden will be developed and experienced in a place where it can also be integrated to the life of the people of the Monastery, something that we consider very important. Since it will be a landscape design, a garden, it can be evolved and enriched as the people are taking care of it.   Nefeli Samioti, Architecture Student Aggeliki Tsilidi, Architecture Student

Strokes, stems, swashes, ligatures, alpha, beta, gamma…and many more. Dive in and explore the secrets of Greek letters together with us.  The idea of this project is to evoke the neglected tradition of greek calligraphy and lettering and make it visible and valued in a modern day visual identity of Spetses. The techniques used during the workshop will vary. The focus will be on hand-lettering of signs with paint and brushes, but will also include graphic design of the signs and creating own digital lettering with sofware. We will sightsee the island, observe, spot the signs, analyze, discuss, brainstorm, design and most important of it all have fun doing it. During the workshop we will follow the local tradition, but with a modern twist! We will make our best, so you can catch the typo bug! P.S. Hey! You know what? Pre-existing knowledge in typography is not required. Don’t hesitate and join the letter journey.   Neva Zidić, Graphic and Type Designer @spottingsignszagreb Agnieszka Ejsymont, Graphic Designer and Architect

City-branding of Spetses, through redesigning and modernizing existing elements of cultural heritage. This project is imagined as a combination of city branding and transmitting technology. The main goal is to create clear visual identity that stands out, based on local tradition and in-sight inspiration. Then we will use hardware transmitting technology such as beacons and NFCs as a main way of expressing this designed brand. This will result in both analog and digital outcome such as maps, posters, flags, touristic products and digital documentation.   Marwan Zgheib, UX/UI designer Jelena Jelačić, Architect

Mnemosyne (Μνημοσύνη) is an experimental workshop that looks at the art of writing with light, no matter what tools you use. We have no fixed goal except to birth art, freeze history and mesmerize through memory. To give this endeavor context we need to soak ourselves in the history of the island of Spetses and work/engage with the local population to shine a light on its own traditional crafts. This is definitely not a “what does this button on my camera do” class. However you will learn photography basics, while refining your esthetic sensibilities through experimentation. We will honor the old craft of analogue film photography but marry it with current cutting edge photography trends and see what happens. We will remember the past, document the present and predict the future – with light.   Jan Von Der Heyde, Design Thinker Vlad Georgiev, Does Media stuff for a living




Participants are also a very important part of the MEDS workshop. They come from different design fields, and from different countries. What links them together is their passion for creation and their love for learning. Participants get to select which project they want to help execute and develop. During the 2 weeks workshop, each team along with his tutor and his mentor, has to build the design, document the work, and create an exhibition panel to be displayed in the central forum. Participant Call: March 01, 2019 – April 05, 2019 Registration Fees: 290 € to be paid after receiving the acceptance email

The Participant Pack

The Participant’s Guidebook (download): explains everything you need to know about being a participant and the MEDS experience in general. The Theme Pack (download): gives an overview on the island, its inhabitants, and a deepened study on the theme MEMNISO. It is a source of inspiration. The Participant Application: Fill in the google form and upload a picture of you. Present a small project you prepared to answer the question: How would you envision “MEMNISO” (photography, small video, graphical production, model, text, or any free entry of your choice”. this entry is an important factor that will help the management team to determine if you are fit for MEDS Spetses ’19. The Application Template (download): This entry is a key factor in the process of participant selection. Use the provided template for your project. If not used, the application will be rejected. FAQ-Frequently Asked Questions (download) For any further questions contact us at:


Tutors at MEDS Workshop are offered a chance to prepare, organize and execute a live project, using the allocated time, tools and materials. An annual open call invites tutors to create a proposal in keeping with the theme of the given MEDS Workshop.

Tutors are the backbone of MEDS Workshops. One or two Tutors can apply with a project inspired from the theme of the workshop. Their project must be realistic, creative, and above all executable in 2 weeks. On the first day of the workshop, tutors recruit 5 to 15 participants, to form a team that will help them develop and execute these projects. In the end, this project will be transported on site to be permanently exhibited. Because your input is of major significance, this year you will get the chance to participate in the workshop with a symbolic registration fee of 50€, to be paid after your project will be selected. The selected projects will be announced on March.

The Tutor Pack

The Tutor’s Guidebook (download): explains everything you need to know about being a tutor. The Theme Pack (download): gives an overview on the island, its inhabitants, and a deepened study on the theme MEMNISO. It is an indispensable source of inspiration. The Tutor Call (download): the full list of expo sites and traditional professions / creative directions for all projects.

Τutor call was closed on Jan 22nd, 2019. For any info requirements and questions contact the tutor support team at:


In MEDS Spetses everyone will have the chance to enjoy multiple everyday activities: seminars, trips, talks, parties. As always, there will be the national night, a party dedicated to food, drink and music exchange between all countries.

For the Greek night, we are planning to host a “panigyri” (πανηγύρι) – look it up! (hint: there’s gonna be lots of traditional dancing, eating and drinking the Greek way!). On days off, we will organize two trips: the first one is a boat tour around the island, visit the cave of Bekiris, a place of natural beauty and historic importance and the second a trip to Peloponnese, where we will visit the city of Nafplion and some of the most important archaeological sites of Greece!


Support us

MEDS is a volunteering international association whose members are mainly students and young professionals from various creative disciplines. The cost of MEDS MEMNISO ’19 is partially covered by participation fees as well as by contributions of foundations, companies, institutions that support research, architecture, design, art and culture. MEDS relies on funding from a wide range of sources and there are many ways that you can donate to help ensure that MEDS network continues to grow and develop. Being a MEDS donor means supporting both the international network and our local Greek team in making this workshop come true, allowing design students from different countries to work together. Anyone interested in becoming a partner or donor in any way is welcome to approach us and develop new ideas about working together.

Interested in supporting us? Please don’t hesitate to contact with us at and we will let you know about our partnership proposals!

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