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01_garden of the forking.txt**
“I leave to the various futures (not to all) my garden of forking paths. (...) In all fictional works, each time a man is confronted with several alternatives, he chooses one and eliminates the others; in the fiction of Ts’ui Pên, he chooses— simultaneously—all of them. He creates, in this way, diverse futures, diverse times which themselves also proliferate and fork.”
—Jorge Luis Borges, 1941
Suspended between arbitrary cartographic acts and geographical reality, thirteen territories remain enclaved within the intricate, overdrawn and ever disputed Israeli-Lebanese frontier. This particular borderline condition is an opportunity for an architectural study of open and loose infrastructures aiming to liberate the terrain from its geopolitical paralysis. Hence, this presentation refrains from offering a design-driven solution, and instead suggests a tactical proposal for ambiguous architectural speculations which could shift, modify, replace and substitute, while untangling the inherent liminality and escalating hostility of the Israeli-Lebanese frontier.
The series of settings are super-positions of existing typological aberrations on both sides of the border: deviant infrastructure, over-planned landscapes, makeshift follies, historical relics and abandoned or overused border fortifications, stripped to their skeleton and foundation and relieved from aesthetic intent.
As the leftover grids randomly cluster and overlap, unique constellations in multiple configurations arise. Much like Borges’ Garden of the Forking Paths, they proliferate and multiply into probable or made-up future(s) of the enclaves, embracing programmatic indeterminacy, celebrating ex-territoriality and acting out bipolar architecture, doomed to fluctuate between construction and destruction, re-use and entropy, skeptical planning and speculative realism.
07_nazereth.txt**A documentation project of the New-Town of Upper Nazereth, a part of a research conducted at the Technion institute of Technology.
06_Wohnungsfrage.txt**Communal by Commune was an installation on the occasion of the Wohnungsfrage exhibition at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) Berlin, curated by Zvi Efrat and Galia Bar Or and Gili Merin as assistant curator, photographer and producer.
Communal by Commune depicts a concrete terrain and a living community Ð kibbutz Yagur at the foothills of Mt. Carmel. Almost a hundred years since its founding, Yagur still operates as a collective and is still working out the idea of the Common as ground for the production of social practices and modes of spatiality. Against the grain of habitual patterns of building and dwelling characterizing rural settlements and uniform communities, Yagur is a conspicuous case of an architecture without instincts nor tradition. The all too proverbial double-bind of vernacular spontaneity and typological homogeneity is taken over in Yagur by an elaborate binary mode of operation relying, first, on the incessant import of expert knowledge to present and represent its socio-cultural idiosyncrasy, and second, on persistent breeding of its own informal savoir-faire to mediate between the experts and the amateurs, the theorists and the bricoleurs.
02_URBURB.txt**In 2013 I joined the team of the Israeli Pavilion at the 14th international Architecture Biennale in Venice as an assistant curator, undertaking roles of research, writing, photography and press for the exhibition. The following images are graphic material and photography produced for both the Israeli and the International catalogues.
These images depict The URBURB: Neither urban nor suburban, the contemporary built landscape is a fragmented mosaic of one hundred years of modernist planning in Israel-Palestine. An accumulated compound of early twentieth century garden-cities, mid-century social housing and generic, high-rise residential typologies of the past two decades.
03_window-less Berlin.txt**Wandering the streets of Berlin, I noticed a repetitive phenomena which - to the locals - seemed mundane: commonly known as “fire walls”, many facades remain entirely window-less, awaiting further construction which is forever halted; irregular regulations within a city scarred by violent partitions. The absurdity of these walls was magnified in a series of processed images, transforming the entire city into dead-end walls, creating, in their totality, a surreal “Monolith City”.
With this thought in mind, the “Void Strategy” for an empty lot in the midst of Berlin was developed, as an opaque structure of concrete punctured only by one, over-scaled opening, hinting the interior: an enclosed semi-private public space, encompassed by an inverted facade, creating an oasis-like inner courtyard in Berlin’s busy Mitte District.
Universitut der Kunste Berlin / Professor Enrique Sobejano / 2014
04_Tokyo Studio.txt**The objective of the studio was to create an animated line-based film, which builds upon field and studio research work carried out in Tokyo. It revolves around a progressive premise which had to be portrayed: the contemporary city is a manifestation of excessiveness.
The excessive element of my focus was located in Yanaka, a cemetery located in the midst of a residential neighbourhood in northern Tokyo: Homes and graves, the mundane routine and the ceremonial act are aligned.
The extreme proximity of life and death enabled the project to explore the possibilities of the combination, or the juxtaposition of the two: the living, rapidly-growing character of the world above, as oppose to the static, stable world of the under. The animation displayed real and imagined spatial situations, portrayed in the following scenes selected from the film.
In May 2013 the film was selected to participate in the international conference for Japanese studies in the Haifa University, Israel.
Waseda University Tokyo / Dr. Erez Golani Solomon / 2012
05_Hatzor.txt**The Kibbutz Hatzor extension plan is an on-going project lead by architect Rafi Segal architect Rafi Segal (Rafi Segal A+U and prof. at MIT), which includes a residential extension to the rural-communal settlement of Hatzor, located in the south of Israel. With a renewed interest in the collective and sustainable housing units provided by the Kibbutz, young families now seek to join the 600-member community. Acknowledging the danger in adapting the conventional suburban subdivisions and typologies, the kibbutz planning committee commissioned Segal to devise a plan for the imminent growth, one that would accommodate the new neighborhood while preserving the unique landscape, relation to open spaces and notions of collectivity imbedded in the kibbutz.
The project searches for a middle ground between two distinct ways of living: the socialist idealism of early kibbutz settlements, which was conceived as a single plot of collectively owned land, and the privatized lifestyle of detached suburban houses. dominating the residential developments built outside of the metropolitan centers of Israel. Segalâ€™s design strategy, developed over two years in close collaboration with the Kibbutz members, includes the incorporation and re-interpretation of significant elements that previously shaped the Kibbutz: the abundance of open green spaces, scattered with free standing residential units, organised through a series of winding pedestrian paths which create a car-free continuum of movement along the private-public spectrum.
Documentation of both the existing landscape and the ongoing process of design is being photographed by myself and presented below.
is an architect, photographer and journalist based in London. She studied architecture at the UdK Berlin, Waseda University in Tokyo and The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, where she recently tutored first and third year design studios. She is currently enrolled in the post-graduate program for History and Critical Thinking at the Architectural Association (AA) in London, while conducting research and editorial work for OMAâ€™s elements of architecture (Taschen, 2017) and Zvi Efratâ€™s object of zionism (Spector Books, 2017).
Gili had various training as an architect and a researcher in AMO*OMA in Rotterdam, COBE in Berlin and ArchDaily in Santiago, Chile. She participated in the curatorial and production stages of various international exhibitions including The Urburb at the 14th International Architecture Biennale in Venice, Fire and Forget at the Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, and Wohnungsfrage at HKW Berlin.
Her writings and photography have been featured in numerous international print and online publications including Mark, Frame, Surface, Quaderns, Artsy, Wallpaper, Ha'aretz, ArchDaily, Uncube, Business Insider, The Huffington Post and Detail.