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meet the team

AUTONOMA is an initiative undertaken by a group of Onassis Foundation Scholars, who joined their academic and professional background in Urban Design, Sustainability, Geography, and Urban Sociology to reflect on the vision of the collective city.


The event is sponsored by the Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, and is hosted by the Onassis Cultural Center in Athens.


Aristodimos Komninos

Urban Planner - Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Aristodimos is a professional architect-engineer, and urban designer . Through his design practice and past academic research, Aristodimos engages issues of global urbanization, spatial justice, and urban theory. He currently lives in London, working as an Urban Planner with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. In the past Aristodimos has practiced as Architectural Designer at Robert A. M. Stern Architects in New York. Prior to his employment in NY, Aristodimos has collaborated with offices in Boston, Mumbai, and Athens . His research and academic work have been published and exhibited in the US, Brazil, France, and Greece. Aristodimos holds the SMArchS – Architecture and Urbanism degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Diploma of Architect-Engineer from the National Technical University of Athens. He is a Scholar of the Fulbright Foundation and the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation. In 2012 he received the Merit-Based Fellowship Award from the School of Architecture and Planning of MIT.

Eleni Katrini

PhD Cadidate - School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University

Eleni is a professional architect, instructor and PhD candidate at Carnegie Mellon University. Her interests include community engagement, sharing and she is teaching on issues of urban ecology. She has worked on several community planning and visioning projects in Pittsburgh. She is the cofounder of the Vacant Home Tour program launched in 2015, which was one of the four finalists for the National Fels Public Policy Challenge. Her PhD thesis is on “Creating the Everyday Commons; the importance of spatial design and participatory process in building sharing culture within existing neighborhoods”. Prior to her work in the US, she collaborated with several firms in Athens and worked independently for architectural competitions. Her academic and professional work has been presented in the US, UK, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Puerto Rico and Greece. Eleni is a Fulbright and Onassis scholar and a registered architect in Greece. She obtained her diploma in Architecture from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and her MS in Sustainable Design from Carnegie Mellon University.

Nikos Katsikis

DDes Candidate - Graduate School of Design, Harvard Univeristy

Nikos is an architect and urbanist and Doctor of Design Candidate (DDeS). His research seeks to contribute to an expanded understanding of the relation between cities and hinterlands building upon the notion of the Hinterworld. His interests focus on the intersection of theoretical, conceptual and methodological models from urban and economic geography with regional morphology and design. At Harvard GSD he is research associate at New Geographies lab and Urban Theory lab working on a metageographical analysis of Planetary Urbanization and has organized conferences on Regionalism and the Mediterranean (2013) and the Limits of the Urban (2012). Since 2012 he is on the editorial board of New Geographies journal and co-editor of the forthcoming New Geographies 06: Grounding Metabolism. Previously he has worked as a Teaching Fellow and Research Associate at GSD and the National Technical University Athens and has instructed studios at Amsterdam Academy of Architecture. He is a registered architect in Greece (2006) practicing architecture and urban design as an individual, and as an associate architect. He holds a Professional degree in Architecture with highest distinction (2006) and a Master of Science in Architecture and Spatial Design (2009) from the National Technical University Athens. His research in the DDeS program is supported by grants and scholarships from the Fulbright foundation, the A.S. Onassis foundation, the A.G. Leventis foundation and the Real Estate Academic Initiative.

Nikos Patsopoulos

Architect, MSc Pratt Institute

Nikos studied in several universities, served in the army and has a job, yet the only thing he remembers is how poorly he was trained to seek all that matters. In order to compensate, he formed and took part in student and workers unions, participated in strikes and demonstrations and found his training ground in the world’s oldest classroom, the street. He is still deeply fascinated by idealists dumb enough to believe that they can change the world.

Eleni Karanicola

Architect, MSc Pratt Institute

Eleni is a professional Architect currently living and working in Athens. She obtained her first degree in her hometown Thessaloniki at the Aristotle University while exploring her skills in architecture and other related fields as photography and graphics. After studying and working in Thessaloniki she moved to New York in 2009 and had her Master of Science degree from Pratt Institute. After that and till 2014 she was working there as an architect, while exploring and observing the city and its social changes. During that time she had the chance to collaborate with multiple professionals and academicians on research projects and competitions.

Giorgos Velegrakis

PhD Candidate - Department of Geography, Harokopio Univeristy

Giorgos Velegrakis is a graduate of the Electrical and Computer Engineering School,NTUA (2007). He holds an M.Sc. in “Environmental Policies and Development” from theRural and Surveying Engineering School, NTUA (2009). He has also followed thepostgraduate program “Urban and Regional Planning” of the Architecture School (NTUA).He is since 2012 a PhD student at the Geography Department of Harokopio UniversityAthens. His research deals with social movements against extractive activities under thecurrent crisis. Furthermore, he is interested in socio­ecological movements, urbangeographies as well as reflections on theoretical debates about radical geography andpolitical ecology. Between October 2012 and September 2015 he was a Fellow of MarieCurie Actions – Initial Training Networks. He is member of the European Network ofPolitical Ecology – ENTITLE (

Dimitris Poulios

Architect, MA in Urban Design, PhD Candidate - NTUA

Dimitris Poulios was born in 1984 in Volos, Greece. He studied Architecture in the University of Thessaly in Volos, wherein graduated in 2010. He continued his postgraduate studies in the field of Urban Design in Cardiff University, UK with scholarship of the Bodossaki Foundation. He graduated first in his class with distinction while his master thesis titled “Challenges for the contemporary Greek city. Public Space, Identity, innovation and a framework for urban interventions” was awarded the Studio Real Prize (Excellence in a Design Based Project). His scientific interests lie in the field of Geography, Urban Studies, Political Economy and Architecture. He has participated in architectural competitions (with distinctions). From June 2012 he is a PhD Student in the field of Urban Geography in National Technical University of Athens as a scholar of the Onassis Foundation.

Thanos Andritsos

PhD Candidate - Department of Geogrpahy, Harokopio Univeristy

Thanos is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Geography of the Harokopio Univeristy. Thanos is an Architect-Urban Planner and a PhD student in Economic Geography. He graduated in 2009 from the School of Architecture of the University of Thessaly and then concluded his Master in the National University of Athens, on the subject of Urban and Regional Planning. His research interests include the study of cities and their transformations, the correlation of space with the economy and the search for alternative ways of managing the public space. At the same time he is studying the new geographies of economic activities, especially the role of “tax havens”, Special Economic Zones etc. He is founding member of the interdisciplinary collaborative group CPD.

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1-2 July 2016
onassis cultural center


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