About the exhibition: text by- Nir Rothem Curator & Designer
The exhibition ”Safe Haven” draws attention to the shelter and to the myriad of architectural realizations of civil defense that shape the environment and assert the presence of the security threat and the military violence that is intrinsic to everyday life in Israel.
Defense architecture is planned in accordance with building rules and regulations, yet in terms of the architectural discourse, it is usually taken for granted and viewed as a required security measure or a necessary aid. In fact, its character and form are decided upon almost entirely outside of the planners’ authority. Architects were not active partners in the discussion about current defense and security legislations such as: The standardization of civil defense through the introduction of the domestic shelter unit in 1992 and the shift in front line security that stemmed from the decision to secure the settlements in the area engulfing Gaza (2008).
The exhibition examines the architectural and social implications of the presence of civil defense in day-to-day life, as well as the role that defense architecture fulfills in the construction of the perception of Israel being under threat. This perspective is a breeding ground for secure living alternatives, even if they are in their initial stages.