Elias and Yousef Anastas most recent installation, All-purpose, was exhibited at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Yousef is an architect, part of the AAU ANASTAS architecture studio with his brother, and an alumn of the Form Finding Lab.
One of their previous works, the Qamt stone bench, was featured previously in this Form Finding Lab blog post. Now, with the All-purpose installation, they highlight yet another way to use stones for construction All-purpose.
All-purpose focuses on differences and similarities, analogies that bring together cultures through architecture and by highlighting their non-hierarchical yet intricate dependencies. It challenges established relations of knowledge supremacies in order to imagine new possible ways of living together. The exhibition presents a new form of architecture that stems both from Palestine and from the world, investigates material explorations and architectural living spaces. All-Purpose, is an installation on the state of stone in contemporary architecture in Palestine.
While the change in the use of the material is largely linked to global transformations in the construction world, the exhibition is meant to present the evolution of the material in relation to contextual political, urban, and cultural realms. The intersections of global and local events are used as a way to better understand the present state of stone in Palestine as well as place its future in a global discourse on the use of the material in contemporary architecture.
The title of the exhibition All-Purpose refers to a known expression used for construction materials and/or products that are used for more than a single purpose as well as to the systematic consumption of stone in Palestine as a physical and symbolic matter serving multi-layered agendas. The exhibition will tie links between different scales, periods, and locations in Palestine and beyond as a way of blending approaches and place the use of stone in contemporary architecture at the intersection of local and global matters. In the disparate architectural context of Palestine, certain architectural attributes, originally found locally, returned to Palestine as imported elements. The exhibition challenges the common approach of imperial transmission of knowledge. Instead, it traces architectural elements and techniques beyond borders and historical periods.
All-Purpose builds up its content on Stone matters, a six year-long experimentations based research that formalizes into a series of site-specific stone structures in Palestine.
Authors: AAU Anastas and Isabel M. de Oliveira