When Hagar Admi thinks about the political future of Israel, she thinks in terms of blue prints. Admi, an architecture student at the Neri Bloomfield School of Design and Education in Haifa, contests that art, specifically architecture, is inherently political.
“It’s all about society in architecture, as you plan for people,” Admi interjected at a discussion on coexistence through art, when photography and animation students explained how politics are not a factor in their work. “It’s not just art. Everything in Israel is political.”
For the Tel Aviv native, design and architecture is about planning for the future of Israel, whatever that may be. She and fellow architecture students are working on a project that directly addresses the possibility of a two-state solution.
“Designs take into account what could happen, what should happen,” said Admi.
The project, focusing on the Israeli coastline, allows design students to engage the social and structural implications of Israeli politics. The coastline community may become home to a major railway station, connecting settlements to the cities.
“The way that politicians divide Israel, it doesn’t work. They just draw a line, they don’t employ architecture.”
Admi rejected the political apathy of some of her fellow art students. “When you put up a building you plan something, it’s going to stay for a really long time. It has an effect on people’s lives. I think that architecture can actually change things. Maybe I’m naïve?”
Editor’s note: Krista and the On Being team are in Israel this week and working with Diane Winston’s graduate students from the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism. We’ll be sharing some of these students’ reports as part of our collaboration and to add to the diversity of observations of this complex place.