Marianna Charitonidou

Visiting Fellow, Summer 2024

  • Affiliation
    Athens School of Fine Arts
    Research Project:
    The Greek Travels of the Villa Medici Pensionnaires in the 19th Century: Perceiving Ancient Monuments between Architecture and Archaeology
Contact Info

Dr. Ing. Marianna Charitonidou is an Architect Engineer & Urban Planner, Historian & Theorist of Architecture, Urbanism & Arts, Industrial Designer, Philosopher, Expert in Sustainable Environmental Design, Curator & Urban Sociologist. She is a Senior Lecturer and Senior Researcher at the Faculty of Art Theory and History of Athens School of Fine Arts and the Department of Interior Architecture of the University of West Attica. Among her more than 115 scientific publications are the following four monographs: Architectural Drawings as Investigating Devices: Architecture’s Changing Scope in the 20th Century (Routledge, 2023), Drawing and Experiencing Architecture: The Evolving Significance of City’s Inhabitants in the 20th Century (Transcript Publishing, 2022), Architecture, Photography and the Moving Eyes of Architects: The View from the Car (Routledge, 2025), Reinventing Modern Architecture in Greece: From Sentimental Topography to Topographical Sensitivity (Routledge, 2025).

At Athens School of Fine Arts, she is the Principal Investigator of the research project “Constantinos A. Doxiadis and Adriano Olivetti’s Post-war Reconstruction Agendas in Greece and in Italy: Centralising and Decentralising Political Apparatus”. She was also the Principal Investigator of the research project “The Travelling Architect’s Eye: Photography and the Automobile Vision” at the Department of Architecture of ETH Zurich, and the research project “The Fictional Addressee of Architecture as a Device for Exploring Post-colonial Culture: The Transformations of the Helleno-centric Approaches” at the School of Architecture of the National Technical University of Athens. She curated the exhibition “The View from the Car: Autopia as a New Perceptual Regime” at the Department of Architecture of ETH Zurich. She holds a PhD Degree in Architectural Engineering (National Technical University of Athens), an MPhil Degree in Research in Architecture, Urbanism, and Landscape Design (National Technical University of Athens), an MSc in Sustainable Environmental Design (Architectural Association, London) and a Master in Architectural Engineering (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki). She was a Visiting Research Scholar at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University, the École française de Rome, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the Getty Research Institute. She is the Principal and Founder of “Marianna Charitonidou Think Through Desigh Architectural, Urban and Landscape Design Studio”, which is based in Athens, Greece.
 

About the Research Project

The Greek Travels of the Villa Medici Pensionnaires in the 19th Century: Perceiving Ancient Monuments between Architecture and Archaeology

The main objective of this research project is the analysis of the collaborations between the residents of the Villa Medici in Rome and the members of the French School of Athens. The research project aims to shed light on how the revelations of archaeology, actively disseminated by the members of the French School of Athens, had an impact on certain pensionnaires of the Villa Medici who decided to devote their envoi de Rome to the antiquities of Greece. Two questions to which this project aims to respond are the following: firstly, how did the architects-pensionnaires of the Villa Medici in Rome appropriate the archaeological discoveries of Greek antiquities, and, secondly, what was the impact of their exchanges with the members of the French School of Athens on their restored views of ancient Greek monuments? This effort to analyze the influence of archaeological discoveries on architecture during the 19th century, with a focus on the architects-pensionnaires of the Villa Medici and their travels to Greece, will be based on the belief that cultural and aesthetic mutations concerning the way of perceiving ancient monuments go beyond the field of the history of architecture or archaeology. For this reason, they can only be grasped by broadening the analysis of these reorientations to the realms of political and cultural history. 

As part of this project, I also aim to juxtapose the points of view of different national contexts in the field of archaeology and architecture. By comparing the different approaches of French, English, Italian, and German architects and archaeologists, the research project aims to investigate how their ways of constructing and interpreting ancient Greek monuments are related to the political and cultural issues that correspond to the historical moments under study. I am particularly interested in revealing why the forms of philhellenism changed after the independence of Greece, and how the meaning of travel to Greece was transformed. The project intends to closely examine the role that architects and their collaborations with archaeologists have played in these changing perceptions of philhellenism. Another aspect that I would also like to scrutinize is the comparison in a trans-European network – especially with regard to the French, Italian, English and German contexts – of different ways of looking at ancient Greek monuments and the perception of travel to Greece in these different national and cultural contexts.

Current Roles

  • Visiting Research Fellow