Palestine's stones form new design commission

 While We Wait, as it will look when it is eventually placed inside Palestine's Cremisan Valley. Image courtesy of V&A and the artists

While We Wait, as it will look when it is eventually placed inside Palestine's Cremisan Valley. Image courtesy of V&A and the artists

An installation made of 500 modules of stones from Palestine will be displayed in Dubai in November.

The twisting meditation space, inspired by the stone castles that punctuate the natural landscape of the Cremisan Valley in Palestine was designed by two Palestinian archtiects Elias & Yousef Anastas and will make its debut in the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) as part of London Design Festival (16-24 September).

The stones, quarried in various regions of Palestine, fit together to form a large, lattice-like, self-supporting structure. The resulting sculptural installation is visually porous, allowing viewers to see their surroundings from inside, whilst listening to evocative sound and video components. Titled While We Wait it was designed digitally, cut by robots, and hand-finished by artists.

 While We Wait (close-up detail) by Elias and Yousef Anastas. Image courtesy of the V&A and the artists.

While We Wait (close-up detail) by Elias and Yousef Anastas. Image courtesy of the V&A and the artists.

Commissioned by the V&A and curated by Salma Tuqan, Middle East Curator in the V&A’s Asian Department, the installation was designed to travel and after London, it will come to Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue where it will be displayed in Concrete. After that, it will return ‘home’ to the Cremisan Valley.

In this short video, the architects explain the space was designed for the community of Bethlehem to “meditate” on the landscape and also to echo the form and colour of the natural surroundings.

Tuqan says that the architects’ ongoing work demonstrates a deep dedication and understanding of local traditions and innovation of technique.

Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, founder of Alserkal Avenue says that While We Wait “inhabits the intersection of contemporary art and design while also being relevant to the diverse audiences in Dubai.

  • While We Wait will show at Concrete, Alserkal Avenue from November 6-18.