SARCHA (School of ARCHitecture for All)

Hi, my name is Lina, I am an architect and I am an associate of SARCHA since 2009 participating in the formulation of different research themes and projects.

SARCHA is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2006. It is an open structure of globally connected committed associates linked by SARCHA’s website and activities. No subscription fee involved, all those who are interested are welcomed.

In order to understand what SARCHA is about you should first understand what SARCHA is not:

  • We are not a group of friends. SARCHA assembles individuals to work on matters of concern. SARCHA is committed to identifying issues of concern within the field of architecture and city conditions, and to systematizing what appears to be a loose set of questions and research orientations among its associates and within a wide and diverse public
  • SARCHA is not an academic institution. SARCHA is a school of ignorants. Associates of various backgrounds do not simply apply their knowledge, but approach tasks at hand with inventiveness and resourcefulness; they seize every opportunity to experiment and share experience and knowledge.
  • We do not have a subsidy-oriented functioning. SARCHA is a quarry and generator of resources: it plugs its network of associates, their skills, abilities, knowledge, technical and technological equipment, physical locations, into available institutional or independent structures, operational mechanism and devices to maximize the potential of humans, things, and processes involved
  • SARCHA is not a cultural organization. SARCHA focuses steadily on the political: It creates a quarry of available resources to bring things that matter into visibility and enforce change as an effect of its activity.
How is SARCHA structured?

SARCHA’s backbone structure: Founding members+ Advisory board + Legal committee + Honorary committee ------> have a say on every activity.

SARCHA’s quarry of resources: Associates (support in knowledge, skills and work time) + Associaters (support in kind) + Associatems (financial support) ------> all inform and implement SARCHA’s programme

Process: The founding members initiated SARCHA but its associates inform its activity;

How does SARCHA communicate?

Web site: + Blog: + Public announcements

Research themes and projects

Research programs develop as yearly themes that address pressing issues.

Design charettes

SARCHA seems to be a great organisation! Togetherness is not something we usually tend to associate with architects.

Growing cities can often feel anonomous, in the middle of hustle-bustle, strangers, large complexes, artificial environments and even skyscrapers.

I studied at a School of Architecture for one year (long time ago) and left for a number of reasons, among others, too much rigidity and lack of creativity. Also, there was so much competition between students, we were doing all-nights about every day of the week, that it drained me. I suppose that many things have changed since then, and the situation must have changed…

We used to have design charettes. Are SARCHA’s activities a bit like online design charettes?

Do you have ‘associates’ from other countries or is it mainly from Greece?

Great things and a question

Hi Lina, I don’t understand everything but your approach seems very fresh and creative. I especially liked Polypolis, maybe you could organize a playing session in Strasbourg during our conference or unconference?

I also have a question, this: how do you fund your activities?

I support the proposal

Oh, I support Alberto’s proposal! It would be wonderful to see SARCHA go ‘live’ in Strasbourg!

Thank you very much

Hi Lyne and Alberto!

Thank you very much for your interest in SARCHA.

It would be really great if could play POLYPOLIS at the conference in Strasbourg. Exactly one week after the conference we will be playing POLYPOLIS in London at the London Architectural Festival. We could discuss how we could play POLYPOLIS in Strasbourg since the game is site specific and is transformed according to the players and the proposed themes.

Moreover, I will try to answer you questions about our funding and about our role as a school.

First of all SARCHA is a new model of an open architectural practice which combines Office + School

It is an office since:

  1. We formulate projects (every associate can propose a project and form a working group of associates)

  2. Then we spot the interested clients (Municipalities, Ministries, Institutions, Private sector)

  3. Implement the project.

  4. Finally the gathered resources are redistributed accordingly to the associates working on the project.

But SARCHA  is also a “school” since the variety of the committed individuals (associates) create an ever-expanding knowledge base where they learn from each other.

Sarcha’s associates are from all over the world, mostly based in Greece, UK and the USA.

The most important part is building trust among the associates.

I hope I succeeded in answering your quarries.

Lina :slight_smile:

I support as well…it would be great if you can prepare a proposal to integrate in the unconference!

Congrats for your work… I think there is a great potential for Athens here! keep going :slight_smile: