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The city’s future sandstone - a material research project

Dafna Levy Banai

Mentor — Nati Shamia Opher
About Design track

Out of an experience of flânerie in my city, Tel Aviv, I observe the urban space as one of destruction and construction, excavation of ancient layers, coverage and reconstruction, resulting in a disorderly mixture of layers. I draw parallels between geological processes and the cyclic processes of urban construction and destruction. Out of the densely constructed pavements and buildings the ancient rock of the city is revealed.

The sandstone cliffs are dunes that made all the way from the granite rocks of Africa through the Nile to become stratified in the ancient Mediterranean shoreline and fossilized in a long process that involved limestone from animal bones sedimented millions of years before with the help of rainwater, wind and heat, trapping within it shells, sands and memories of whence it came and where it is at. Today they are remnants of geological eras that remain exposed in the bustling city.

Observing the natural process raises the question, how will this city’s future sandstone look like? What memories will it treasure? I collect sand that has drifted off the sandstone cliffs, adding finds related to the city’s wear and tear. In the studio, I simulate the process leading to the formation of the sandstone and using processes that shorten the geological timescale into several weeks, I create new sandstone that assimilates additional urban materials, and ask, can the city’s future sandstone be simulated? This is a material research project, and accordingly it ends not with an exclamation but with a question mark. 

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Dafna Levy Banai

Dafna Levy Banay, ceramic artist, graduate of the Bezalel Department of Ceramic and Glass Design, 2015. Owns a ceramic design studio in Tel Aviv.

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