Free and open to the public at the ZEZEZE Architecture Gallery in Tel Aviv, the Architactics exhibition by SAYA Design for Change summarizes the approach of SAYA’s mission-based practice. Rather than diving into the details of their specific proposals, it illustrates the channels of influence this practice has defined for design in peace making. SAYA’s pioneering approach termed by its founders as “Resolution Planning” was developed a decade ago to reclaim the architectural responsibility in designing peace. Its goal is to redefine the role and responsibility of architects in conflict resolution, to re-include the city, the people and their joint future space back into the picture. The exhibition will continue to be on display until August 24. More architects’ description after the break.
Most of the international conflicts are of territorial nature. They take place in physical space and are aggravated and complicated by spatial and physical actions. Their resolution is ultimately achieved through a realignment of space, a role more often than not, played by lawyers, politicians and security experts often with little or no expertise in dealing with the built environment. Architects, whose domain is the understanding of physical space, are rarely actively involved in the resolution of territorial conflicts and the promotion of peaceful settlements. Architects Yehuda Greenfield-Gilat and Karen Lee Bar-Sinai believe this to be one source of the severe deficiencies in the Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking process so far. It is this belief which led to the establishment of SAYA Design For Change.
SAYA’s body of work, often created in collaboration with Palestinian planners and architects, has created a foundation for planning Israeli-Palestinian peace. Their work has served Israeli-Palestinian leaders in the past decade and especially in the previous negotiation rounds, and has defined an unprecedented role for architects in bridging the gap between the broad stroke of policy making, and the reality on the contested ground.
From envisioning peace and how it should look like, through creating tools for peace making, to influencing the “backstage” of peace processes – SAYA’s work demonstrates that architects can influence not only through building and buildings, but also by shaping decisions regarding space and by encouraging decision makers to think as architects. It is our hope that this exhibition will also inspire more architects to think as decision makers and help politicians transcend the boundaries of what they believe is possible to agree upon.
The exhibition will include a series of lectures and meeting dealing with the above issues. For more information, please visit here.