Mr Stylianos Zavos

Full contact details
View graph of relations


My research ethnographically unfolds the effects of inhabitation in residential buildings and explores its relevance to the evolution of residential building typologies through an ANT-inspired approach.

Over an eight-month fieldwork period in Athens, Greece, I inquire in its most common and ubiquitous building type – the polykatoikia. Tracing from within the relations between attributes and – human and non-human – entities holding a building together after design and construction, I access and ethnographically investigate individual apartments in polykatoikia buildings dispersed in Athens.

Focusing on movements, rhythms and material transformations, I collect past and present stories of territorial makings through in-depth interviews, I unpack the palimpsestic manifestations of apartment layout changes through time, and I trace the transposition of elements and features which, through inhabitation, hybridise the evolutionary process of this building typology.

Through the case study selected, and through the fragmented but still interconnected cases of inhabitation showcasing facets of a complicated entanglement that defies bifurcating notions and notions of scale, this research will offer a pragmatist insight for the interrelation between architecture and inhabitation (or, what presumably starts when architecture stops).

Thesis title: The social life of buildings: Architecture revisited through the Greek popular housing type (provisional title).

Supervisors: Prof. Albena Yaneva and Dr Isabelle Doucet


Trained as a Civil Engineer with specialisation in Spatial Planning, I received my degree from the University of Patras in 2007.

For the subsequent years, I worked as a chartered design and project engineer for large infrastructure and renewable energy projects, while also practising as a freelancer since 2012.

In 2015 I received my master’s degree in Urban Strategies and Design from the University of Edinburgh, and since September 2016 I joined The University of Manchester where I’m currently a candidate for a PhD in Architecture and a teaching assistant.

Areas of expertise

  • NA Architecture - Actor-Network Theory, Inhabitation, Buildings – all kinds, especially mundane residential, The everyday, Architecture and popular aesthetics
  • GN Anthropology - Ethnography, Territorial makings, Rhythm

Related information


Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Organising a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etc

Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Organising a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etc

View all (2)