Call for Papers for A New Book:
Israel as A Modern Architectural Experimental Lab (1948-1978)

This is a call for contributions to a new book entitled Israel as A Modern Architectural Experimental Lab (1948-1978), edited by Dr. Anat Geva and Dr. Inbal Ben-Asher Gitler. This proposed manuscript will be considered for publication under the new book series: Critical Studies in Architecture of the Middle East, edited by Mohammad Gharipour & Christiane Gruber.

The architecture of Israel during the first three decades of the nation’s establishment was innovative and experimental in character. It comprised a reassessment of modernist architectural approaches emanating from Europe, while expressing local socio-political ideologies and economical constraints. Architecture was conceived as mediating progress in all its capacity, embodying a statement of an advanced new Jewish society, conceived as a part of Western culture. Specifically, our premise is that the architecture of Israel- nation building in its cultural, political and historical contexts constituted an exceptional experiment, which employed modernism as a symbol of a new society while applying several national ideologies.

Two questions are the focus of the book (a) how did architectural modern experiments express the national policy of establishing a “melting pot” society (e.g., the social uniformity concept) during the first three decades of Israel-nation building? and (b) what transformations did Israeli architecture undergo during this period? In these contexts, we wish to investigate how architecture embodied regional and specific cultural contexts such as “the conquest of the desert,” the “settlement of the Galilee,” the establishment of “development towns” and the continuation of the Zionist ideology of the Kibbutz and the Moshav.

Specifically, we invite papers that address the proposed questions and discuss Israel as a modern architectural experimental lab during three consecutive decades (1948-1978). The following topics are suggested but not limited:

  • The Israeli case of using architecture as a political tool in forming and disseminating national ideologies.
  • The Israeli case of modern architecture as an outstanding example of modernism’s international expansion.
  • The adaptation of modern architecture to regionalism: awareness of local culture and environmental conditions in Israel.
  • The Israeli experimentation in new architectural theories and building technology.
  • The legacy of modernist endeavors in Israeli built environment: politics and

    approaches to re-use and conservation.

    Please send an abstract of maximum 300 words and a short bio of 150 words by 15 April 2016 to Dr. Anat Geva, Texas A&M University, a-geva@tanmu.edu AND to Dr. Inbal Ben-Asher Gitler, Sapir Academic College / Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, inbalbag@gmail.com

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