Architect: Itai Palti
Location: Tel Aviv – Jaffa
Project type: Film studios and public square
“I believe that curiosity is a moral virtue. Being curious means imagining the other, and imagining the other is to see through someone else’s eyes. It is the most powerful antidote to fanaticism.”
– Amos Oz
The Case for Curiosity addresses the notion of curiosity as a moral virtue, and as the primary device in imagining the other. The project integrates the role of imagination in the context of national reconciliation, focusing on the Jewish-Arab relationship in Israel.
The investigation is rooted in an analysis of the Hebrew festival of Sukkot as an existing exercise in the imagination of displacement, or wandering. The sukkah and the associated festival traditions become the models for two strands of imaginary wandering; through the calculated physical abstruction of an environment; and in the tradition of storytelling as illusory wandering.
In this intervention, a common alien ground (See permeability map) is marked out in an undefined zone between two urban and cultural entities, Jewish Tel Aviv and Arab Jaffa. An architectural language of permeability, physical and visual, fragment the space into a series of catalytic views, encouraging the imagination of new narratives (See Permeascope). Used film sets slowly clog up the street facade (waiting to be cleared and recycled into sukkahs) whilst patterned screens distort, conceal, and reveal spaces within the square. The public is challenged by it’s own curiosity to explore and interact, to reinterpret, and debate, or to quietly watch the scene unfold. The Case for Curiosity is a celebration of stories, the ability of the human imagination to displace oneself into another world, or into the world of an other.