Utopia and Nostalgia – Architecture and Ideology in Palestine / Israel
Neri Bloomfield WIZO Academy of Design and Education
Haganim St. 21, Haifa, Israel
December 14, 2004
Throughout the centuries the ancient history and mythology of the Land of Palestine / Israel has inspired numerous ethnic, cultural, and religious groups to attempt to reconstruct a lost paradise. Particularly in the early twentieth century, settlement activities and the production of physical and cultural space embodied a certain utopian potential that aimed at anticipating a future model society. Thus the spatial and social structures of settlements may be interpreted as the result of conflicting interpretations of history and competing perceptions of the future.
This conference traces the architectural design and symbolic meaning of settlements, as well as their influence on transformations of the Palestinian / Israeli environment. Accelerated urban development, shifting political boundaries, and the ideological appropriation of history endanger the heritage of these architectural and social experiments and call for a re-evaluation of the region's architectural history.
The conference has been organized by Dr. Anna Minta (Technical University Dresden) on behalf of the Goethe-Institute in Tel Aviv and the Neri Bloomfield WIZO Academy of Design and Education in Haifa.
David Alexander, President of Neri Bloomfield WIZO Academy
Hans-Juergen Nagel, Head of the Goethe-Institute Tel Aviv
Anna Minta (Dresden): Conflicting utopias – The politics of constructing space and identity in the Holy Land
Jewish and Christian Perspectives / Utopias of Zion
09:45 Ita Heinze-Greenberg (Delft): Eden as model – Zionist settlement concepts
10:15 Yossi Ben-Artzi (Haifa): Landscape and ideology – The case of the German Colony in Haifa
11:00 Coffee break
Jewish and Arab Perspectives and City Cultures
11:30 Haim Fireberg (Alfee Menashee): From mandate to state – Tel Aviv: town planning policy, spatial design and civic order
12:00 Abed Badran (Kabul): Transformation of the Israeli-Palestinian Arab village – 'Losing confidence'
13:00 Lunch break
Jewish Perceptions and Strategies after 1948
14:00 Diana Dolev (Bejamina): Designing the Hebrew University as a symbol of Jewish rebirth and reconstruction
14:30 Alona Nitzan-Shiftan (Haifa): The reconstruction of Jerusalem after 1967
15:30 Coffee break
16:00 Nazmi Al-Ju'beh (Ramallah): Palestinian vernacular architecture – Meanings of and efforts at preservation
16:30 Saadia Mandl (Tel Aviv): Israeli preservation and politics
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