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CV

Working Experience

March 2013 – now: Designer/ Architectural Assistant at Troika(London)

September 2012 – now: Member of Interactive Architecture Lab (London)

August 2013: Participation as a presenter in Fascinate Conference, Falmouth University computing, art, architecture, design, performance, Cornwall,UK

September 2011 – now: freelance architect/designer/photographer at Greece and London,UK

  • January 2013: Design and fabrication of the kinetic mechanism and installation for the exhibition “Working the Land”exhibited in Buro Happold Office, London, UK
  • March 2013: Photographer of the event “Inside Smartgeometry: Expanding the Architectural Possibilities of Computational Design”, Smartgeometry Conference, London, UK
  • March 2013: “Redshirt” Assistant in SmartGeometry Conference, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, CAD/CAM Facilities, organisation and final set up of exhibition
  • June 2012: Design and fabrication of stage set up for the performance “Last Chance”,presented in Thessaloniki Performance Festival – Biennale of Contemporary Art

June 2009: freelance photographer in graduation ceremonies

Summer 2008: Architectural Intern at Domus Line Engineering A.E., Greece. Projects ranging from graphic design and interior design to building projects, detailing and presenting design projects

Education

2012 – 2013: Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, MArch,Graduate Architectural Design,Interactive Art and Architecture, Merit Degree

2011: professional licence of Architect Engineer in Greece

2004 – 2011: Polytechnic Faculty in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Architecture. Diploma in Architecture and Engineer (master equivalent, Part II equivalent).Design Projects in: Small Scale synthesis, Architectural Design, Preservation and Restoration of Archaeological site, Technology of Construction, Urban Design, Artistic Projects, Studies on history of Architecture and Art. Degree 8,61/10 “Excellent”

2008/1 – 2008/7: Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’ architecture de Toulouse, School of Architecture Erasmus Student with scholarship by IKY Foundation

2001 – 2004: 5th high school of Larissa, Greece. First High Score in class with mark 19,6/20 received Eurobank Scholarship of 1000 euros

Special Knowledge / Workshops – Seminars – Exhibitions

2013: Participation in B-pro show exhibition. The Bartlett School of Architecture, London, UK

2013: Advanced Grasshopper Workshop. Tutors: Theodoros Themistokleous, Ryan Mehanna

2013: Advanced Arduino Workshop. Tutors: Stefanie Wuschitz, Ollie Palmer

2013: SoftRobotics Workshop Tutors: Ben Haworth, Zoi Karagkiozi

2013: Robotic Workshop (HAL) Tutor: Thibault Schwartz

2013: UK National Choreographers’ Conference, Choreography Research Sadler’s Wells, London, UK

2013: “Choreographing the..”, Symposium, Choreography Research Organised and hosted by Takako Hasegawa, Architectural Association, London UK

2013: Participation in Wayne’s McGregor Weekend Lab, Choreography Research Barbican, London, UK

2011: Participation in Thessaloniki-Instanbul Schools Exhibition Thessaloniki, Greece

2010: 3 weeks seminars Apomechanes (non linear computational design strategies) Tutors: Ezio Blasetti(Columbia University), Roland Snooks (Columbia University), Pavlos Xanthopoulos(Zaha Hadid Architects), Ioulietta Zindrou. Participation in exhibition at Michalis Cacoyanis Foundation in Athens

2009: Workshop “Textile Structure”, transforming textile techniques in design and architecture. Gabi Schillig (UKD Berlin) and Asterios Agkathidis

2009: Participation in Exhibition of extreme conditions residence design, Argentine

2008: Participation in A.P.TH. research group and workshop “Architectural Interventions in the area of Municipality of Thessaloniki” tutors: A.M. Kotsiopoulos, Titie Papadopoulou, A. Tellios, A. Gospodini

2007-2009: photography seminars (analogue and digital) Stereosis Photography, www.stereosis.com

Software knowledge (Windows and Mac Software)

Excellent: Autocad/3ds Max/Rhinoceros/Archicad/Vray/Adobe Photoshop/Adobe inDesign/Adobe Illustrator/Adobe Premier Pro/Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)/Grasshopper/Keyshot

Advanced: Arduino/Processing

Fabrication Knowledge

CAM facilities (CNC Machine, Lasercutter)/Universal Robots, Kuka Robots (InverseKinematics)/Metal Workshop/Wood Workshop

Language Skills

Greek: mother tongue

English: excellent knowledge and practice

French: advanced knowledge and practice (Diplome d’études en langue francaise (Delf ) 1er Degre /Diplome d’études en langue francaise (Delf) 2nd Degre (A1-A6))

Other Interests

Studying in Professional Dance School Kafantari/Choreography Research/Ballet, Contemporary, Musical, Jazz/Participation in the Dance Group “Thessaly Ballet” /Participation in many Photography Exhibitions and Contests/Excellent knowledge of piano/Cinema/Travelling/Music

Improvisational Choreography as a design language for Spatial Interaction

Thesis paper for Graduate Architectural Design, at the Bartlett School of Architecture

Published and presented in Fascinate Conference, August 2013

The paper suggests an approach to designing spatial interaction by merging two parallel gradients of choreography and kinetic architecture. It draws observations about how the two disciplines can become complementary towards one another and exchange ideas. Contemporary choreographers and their processes are discussed (focusing on the area of structured improvisation). An architectural research project is presented as a series of built installations. These installations interrogate a range of spatial conditions from purely mechanical automata to interactive systems, using the technology of industrial robotics, computer vision and adaptive computation.
It is suggested that structured improvisation in interaction can be deployed and offer elements of emergence and unpredictability as a design vocabulary. Such a vocabulary is based on a gestural dialog between an installation and its environment (i.e. performer, audience, constructed space). Development of this vocabulary might offer a novel approach to structuring spatial interactivity, that concerns not only the literal movement of a dynamic system, but also the behavior and personal interpretation of a space and its habitats.

About

Chryssa Varna, trained as an architect, flows in between the areas of art, architecture, making and coding. She works as a designer engineer in Troika (London), completing projects from concept to fabrication, focusing on kinetic design and interaction. She is also a member of Interactive Architecture Lab (London), supervised by Ruairi Glynn. Her work has been published in conferences, including Fascinate 2013 (Falmouth, UK), Human Computer Interaction (Crete, 2014) and featured in websites such as The Creators Project, Suckerpunch, Interactivedesign.it.

In 2011, she obtained her master’s degree in Engineering Architecture in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and in 2013, her second master’s degree from The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, focusing on kinetic design and interactive technologies. She has also studied dance and choreography in Municipal Ballet school of Larisa and participated in the Thessalian Ballet Dance Company for 4 years.

 

She is interested in the way performance combined with technology can evolve through stage design and installation art. Her current research focuses on designing spatial interaction by merging her two faculties as a dancer and architect, using the technology from purely mechanical automata to industrial robotics, computer vision and adaptive computation.