A FUTURE PERFECT | Athens, Greece
Evi Sougkara and Katerina Grigoropoulou studied architecture at the University of Thessaly, in Volos, then lived together in London while earning graduate degrees in Performance Design and Interior Design. But, when they returned home to Greece to start their careers, they found their country’s economy in shambles and dim hopes for their own futures. Two talented, young architects living in a country where nothing was being built.
“The best word to describe our situation was frustration,” Sougkara says. “We really felt trapped in a situation where our skills, our qualifications, and what we really love to do were not needed.”
Rather than leaving Greece for greener pastures, as so many young Greeks have done, they stayed put and persevered. In 2013, the two friends were invited to exhibit a contemporary design at the Benaki Museum in Athens. The theme of the exhibition was that ubiquitous object of Greece’s tourist industry – the souvenir.
Their concept: to employ their architectural talents and use the materials of their trade (maps and concrete) to do what they were trained to do, to build cities – only on a miniature scale. They began handcrafting concrete coasters, molded into a meticulously shaped map of their hometown, Athens. The perfect keepsake for the stylish, contemporary traveler.
Grigoropoulou and Sougkara exhibited their Concrete Cities concept across Europe and around the world – from Amsterdam and Milan to Stockholm and China – and won the prestigious Silver A’ Design Award along the way. Following this success, they created their own concept brand, as they say, “with a bit of irony and a lot of hope”: A Future Perfect. The name “represents how we conceive a lifestyle,” they say, “you should always act as if your ideal situation is presently perfected. We believe design is a means to achieve that.”
Written by Ronald Coleman. Photos by Thanassis Koutsogiannis