Thessaloniki, December 2018

Residency #4. Christof Mayer. 2017-2018

Christof Mayer is a founding member of the architects’ collective raumlaborberlin. Mayer’s work addresses city and urban renewal as a process, with a special attraction to difficult urban locations that need activation through citizens participation, opening up new perspectives for alternative usage patterns, collective ideals, urban diversity and difference. In the context of his Artecitya residency, Mayer designed and led a series of workshops for young architects, artists and designers aimed at building the conceptual space of Artecitya’s sustainability project, LABattoir. As a result, emerged a new creative collective, Coalesce, made up mostly by artists and architects (students or recent graduates), some of them members also of the collective Practise(in)Cognition, that had emerged previously from Eric Ellingsen’s residency in 2016. Christof Mayer’s communication with Coalesce is ongoing, offering them guidance and advice. In the context of the group’s further development, empowerment and networking, LABattoir supported their participation in raumlaborberlin’s Floating University project last Summer in Berlin.


Coalesce is a group of visual artists, architects and urban planners based in Thessaloniki, who came together to pursue and expand the practices developed during the workshops “Perceiving Academy” by Eric Ellingsen and “Building Labattoir” with Christof Mayer, in the context of the residency programme of Artecitya by Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki, in partnership with the project LABattoir by the Municipality of Thessaloniki and ArtBOX. 
Coalesce’s interest interest lies in the exploration of ways to approach materials and structures, which are stripped of their previous function, and ways to re-interpret them as potentialities that not only can support an existing vision, but can also produce new scenarios that can further develop it. 
Their intention is to adapt and expand their approach to a specific part of the city that presents latent qualities which, through this process, will be able to act as agents of transformation of the area. An act that will establish a creative community-network with an active feedback loop between itself and the city.