• breakwithanarchitect

The "disobedient" citizens of Thessaloniki waterfront from the architect's point of view (Covid 19)

Updated: Apr 16

Today's post is a bit different in terms of usual breakwithanarchitect topics. This post highlights the necessity for critical thinking about what we read and hear from the news about Covid - 19. However, this statement comes with a proof of evidence from an architects point of view. The following story describes how the "smart" use of technology and appropriate camera equipment leads to misinformation, with the ultimately goal to blame the disobedient crowds and hide the lack of appropriate healthcare, hospitals and medical staff.

The architect Manos Makrakis created an abstract model of the Thessaloniki's waterfront, starting from the Traffic Park and ending at the Sculpture Garden. The total distance of the model is about 900 meters, while the distance between the columns is 24 meters. Measurements are primarly based on Google maps and two views of the specific area were created. The model was created with the software Blender.


Dimensions used for the abstract model, Makrakis
Waterfront area of Thessaloniki, Indicative distance used in the model, Makrakis

In the view below (3), the lens used is a 50mm lens; that is the lens that the human eye uses to see. The distances between people and objects are realistic and we can see that there are some people on this area, at a relatively safe distance betweeen them.


View of the specific area with lens 50mm, Makrakis

In the view below, (4), the lens used is a 400mm lens, that compresses the depth of field, narrows the distances between objects and brings everyhting closer to the camera.


VIew of the specific area with lens 400mm, Makrakis

In the view below (5), we can see a photo from a local channel at the exact same point. The main goal of this photo is to present the area as crowed and highlights the fact that too many people are located in this area, although they are not supposed to. This can be achieved through the use of the appropriate lens and from this study as follows:

  • If you compare the distances between the columns of the view (4) and the view (5), which are almost the same in the 2 images.

  • If you compare the little blue figures, you can see that in figure (4) they appear to be almost adjacent while in fact they are 12 meters apart (2).



Photo of the same area from a local channel

It is obvious that the whole effort, has the ultimate goal to distort the truth and serve the idea that the citizens are mainly responsible for the fact that the situation with the Covid-19 is not improving. However, the photo alone is not enough; a reporter is also used to communicate the content and as a result the crowding effect is achieved!

Thessaloniki's citizens have already taken on their responsibilities, and what is actually needed is to provide support to the local hospitals. The city needs medical infrastructure and facilities but also qualified medical personnel.


We would like to thank Mr. Markakis, architect, for the idea, the comments and the models provided.


Panagiotidou Nicoleta, BIM specialist for Breakwithanarchitect


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