Marwa Arsanios’ work After Doxiadis, a proposal for a new social housing project (2013 – ongoing) takes the Doxiadis social housing project that was planned in 1958 for different cities in Lebanon as its starting point. Constantinos Doxiadis (1913-1975) was a Greek architect and urban planner, best known for his work as the lead architect of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. Commissioned by the United States Operations Mission in Lebanon in 1957, he worked on a study into different types
of Mediterranean social housing, designed to accommodate lower income families. In 1958 the project had to be abandoned due to the first postindependence civil war and its consequent change of government. The failure of the project reflects the failure of Lebanon’s social housing policy, meant to provide decent accommodation for everyone, and also reflects the failure of the state and what it can offer in terms of social justice with a house for every person. Taking the Doxiadis project as
a point of departure to spark a debate about the role of social housing today, Arsanios proposes an economically sustainable social housing
project for Beirut, to be developed together with architects, urban planners and researchers. For her installation After Doxiadis, a proposal for a new social housing project she made models of two houses originally designed by Doxiadis for Beirut, which she complements with collages, photographs and archival documents from his 1958 proposal, together with a new plan developed together with architects, urban planners and researchers for new social housing in Beirut. Taking a failed progressive
project as a reference point, Arsanios exercises a détournement of something unrealized into a future potentiality, demonstrating what a social housing project could look like today, and aiming to offer a
way to reflect on the current housing crisis in Beirut, created by economic disparities and a ruthless real estate policy. After Doxiadis could thus be read as a blueprint to alleviate urban dysfunction in the Mediterranean, which shows similar characteristics, not only in Beirut but also many other Mediterranean cities, Thessaloniki included.