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Athens xn : the public space... hidden treasure: an Exploration-Adventure Meta-Game in the center of Athens2

Proposal section within the E.M.P. Research Program - Y.PE.K.A.. with title:
"Changing Characters and Policies in the City Centers of Athens and Piraeus" (2010 - 2012)
(Scientific manager: P. Tournikiotis)

Proposal description
As part of the design proposals submitted in the context of research carried out on the center of Athens, in the perspective of a synthetic approach to the multiple parameters that make up its physiognomy, the proposal in question refers to the possibility of establishing a -(post-)Exploratory Search Game- Adventure for the Public Space.
More specifically, the proposal envisages the creation of a dynamic network of "scenarios" and various "cryptic" elements, appropriately configured for wide use through playful activities, such as to provide the basis for new and interesting public events, able to be effectively combined with the rest functions of a city, i.e. connecting a wide range of activities, processes or "situations" that develop in more or less focal points of the urban space. In addition, it is emphasized that this plot should remain structurally self-evolving, i.e. such as to challenge the participants to invent new game forms, to be included in the context of the wider plot, as an extension and enrichment of the field of reference and the ways of its unfolding, while giving push in a direction of disengagement from "central planning". The cryptic elements, as constitutive parameters of individual playful tests, can be included as "hidden messages" among the multiple "facets" of urban porosity or implemented through soft, temporary or semi-permanent, interactive constructions, of various types, functions and scales, which will be able to be dispersed strategically, in key points - areas throughout the network of public spaces of the center (such as high-rise urban observatories, parks, archaeological sites, main squares, museums and other public buildings, city buildings, but also randomly - hidden spots within the city) or placed along characteristic routes.
These constructions, as they will essentially be elements of urban equipment, will be able to appear - they are imported either as multifunctional "substitutes" for some of the existing conventional constructions (such as MMM stops, kiosks, info kiosks, seating areas, lampposts, traffic lights, waste containers, etc. .), or as new such elements (such as maps or models of public spaces of the city at various scales, digital tables and dynamic diagrams with many kinds of information, climate recording-measuring devices and other place/marking elements)352. The design of these elements should, in addition to the basic architectural criteria (functional, static, bioclimatic, aesthetic, symbolic), set additional critical synthetic parameters that will concern the specific content of individual combined puzzles (logical, numerical, mechanical, topological , spatial-perceptual, "co-sensory" etc.).
In this direction, it could be proposed to perform part of the research material at hand, through the adventure game, in the city itself. The following diagrams are used as a basis for the development of such a play type in the network of public spaces of the city of Athens, with an emphasis on its downtown area. However, before the presentation of the said "game" diagrams, for a better understanding of the proposal (and its methodological connection with the rest of the research), it is considered appropriate to list some cartographic impressions that summarize some of the main research conclusions (which can be taken as a record of the individual qualities of the venue for the wider urban game).