Space in the Negev (2021)

Design & build course for undergraduate students, Bezalel Academy for Arts and Design.

Earth has been used as a building material for more than 10,000 years, being the democratic building material - it is accessible, beneficial, free and can be used by anyone and everywhere. It is used as a raw and fresh material, burnt, compressed or cast; In residential, religious and public buildings; In deserts and steppes; By common people and professionals. In fact, anyone with access to a suitable sand and water mixture can build, and so can students. The potential inherent in earth as an impact-free environmental material is immense, and is not sufficiently realised in Israel. The course allows students to enjoy the immense satisfaction of hand on, independent, ecological construction, one which takes place in the "real world" and relates to real landscape.

The course Space in the Wilderness is a theoretical and practical workshop held in the Department of Architecture by Arch. Talia Davidi. The workshop deals with earth construction on its historical and social, technological and environmental meanings. While the first semester is devoted to soil as a building material, during the summer term students build from scratch a modest pavilion - from production of the moulds and the bricks, to the construction of every detail in the entire pavilion throughout its completion. The outcome was an observation post made solely of local soil and stones in Hanokdim village, located in the Israeli Negev desert.