Karen Lee Bar-Sinai’s ARCHITACTICS

Karen Lee Bar-Sinai (LF ’13) continues to preach the gospel of Resolution Planning to everyone looking for hope and solutions to the seemingly intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One indication that the ideas developed by her firm SAYA are gaining greater currency is the exhibit “Architactics: The Role and Responsibility of Architects in Conflict Resolution,” currently on view at the Rappaport Treasure Hall at Brandeis University. The exhibit was first mounted in Tel Aviv, then traveled to the US Institute for Peace in Washington, DC, before being hosted by the Graduate Program in Coexistence and Conflict at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

At the exhibit launch last week, Bar-Sinai outlined the 3 roles she believes architects and planners must assume in order to contribute meaningfully to peace: envisioning, education and providing resolution tools. To encourage envisioning, the design process can be marshaled to inspire people, help them picture what peace would look like and build confidence in physical changes that meet the needs of all parties. SAYA’s architectural imagery has demonstrated ways Jerusalem can be shared by Israelis and Palestinians in specific instances: creating a secure border crossing that is welcoming and inclusive rather than threatening; redefining boundaries of a contested neighborhood of historic Old Jerusalem to facilitate sharing the space. Their designs were included in the planning appendices to the Geneva Accord, launched in 2003, and were incorporated into 2008 peace negotiations between then-Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.

SAYA is generating data and ideas and educating about possibilities with a crowd-sourcing tool, the Is Peace Possible Interactive Map, which enables viewers to redraw boundaries, see the implications of their choices and then share the results. Anyone with access to a computer can participate and track the results.

Learn more at SAYA | Design for Change.

Photos by Jefferson Seth McIntyre
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