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Monday, November 8, 2010

Welcome to our Blog

Rebecca David
Joshua Skarf

Welcome to our blog. We are two 5th year students of Architecture in the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in Jerusalem, studying in the Historical Preservation Studio. This blog is devoted to documenting the research, plans and proposals of our final project.

Ruins have long been a subject of fascination for many people, and we wholeheartedly count ourselves among their number. Ruins, however, are often consigned to archaeologists and tend to fall outside the provenance of standard historical preservation. We believe that both these categorizations are false: ruins can and should be addressed by architects and planners and integrated into the fabric of cities; and ruins do belong in the same discussion as more standard historical preservation. Nonetheless, the pitfalls in dealing with ruins are even more numerous that the many missteps that can upend the preservationist, and integrating a ruin into a city is no easy task. We hope to succeed in developing a series of proposals for several different styles and eras of ruins that will both demonstrate the feasibility and inspire others to incorporate ruins into the city fabric when possible.

As a test laboratory for our studies, we will be working with the Israeli city of Rosh Ha'Ayin. Although less well-known than other local urban areas that are inundated with ruins, Rosh Ha'Ayin has a rich history, with surrounding areas that have been inhabited by a myriad of civilizations over the past 5 millennia. Bona fide archaeological ruins exist just beyond the built-up edge of the city, and more recent remnants reside within the city.

Our research will proceed along three fronts at the beginning: A general study of ruins and how they have been seen historically; Research of the history of Rosh Ha'ayin; and an investigation into the current ruins that exist in and around Rosh Ha'ayin.


  1. Dear Joshua and Rebecca,

    By chance, I came across your blog and also had an opportunity to view your writings on the art of Samuel Bak. We have worked together with Bak and his images for many years. What a privilege and delight!

    There are a couple of other images that I wanted to send along to you for your continued thought and stimulation. Please send us your e-mail so we can do so.

    In many ways, Bak’s work is all about archeology and memory. How does he create a visual representation of what was in order to keep it alive and going forward.

    We are also working actively with the organization Facing History and Ourselves who over the past years has continued to use witnesses and survivors as testimony. Bak’s work, I think in the long run, will begin to fill this void once the survivors have died.

    In any event, we hope that one day you will visit with us. Let us know if we can be of any help.

    All the best, Bernie and Sue Pucker


  2. Thanks for the kind comment. You can send us an email at jskarf@hotmail.com.

  3. hi

  4. Thank you Barak. A wonderful ruin. From a ruins-preservation perspective I should say that it has been ruined, but I love what was done within it...

  5. Hi! Your blog is reaally very good! Helpful for an assignment on Izbet Sartah (Even HaEzer)! from Greece