laba Studio ISRAEL 2016/17


The Middle East was the birthplace of the Neolithic Revolution, the founding agricultural act that came to humanize and domesticate the planet. Bridging between Africa and Eurasia and pervaded by large rivers and marshlands, it contained a comparatively moist and fertile land. While climate changes during the Ice Age led to repeated extinction events, this region retained a greater amount of biodiversity than either Europe or North Africa, making it a crucial link in the distribution of Old World flora and fauna, including the spread of humanity. It is considered the Cradle of Civilization because it saw some of the very first developments in human social and technological inventions such as cities, class-based societies, monumental architecture, writing, the wheel, and irrigation. It was home to the eight Neolithic founder crops and four species of domesticated animals (cows, goats, sheep, and pigs). Aslo known as the Fertile Crescent, this region saw the onset of the human domination of nature and the birth of a long history of pastoral aesthetics.

laba Studio 2016/17 will focus on Israel and the role played by agriculture in: 1) territorial appropriation and domestication; 2) structuring the development of urbanization; 3) creating a national homeland narrative; and 4) changing the climate. We will look into the three major types of Israeli agricultural development: the vernacular Palestinian/Bedouin, the socialist utopian Kibbutz/ Moshav, and the high-tech desert farming.The studio will be carried out in collaboration with Landbasics, a landscape architecture Master studio at the Technion headed by Prof. Matanya Sack.