Israel Lessons

Israel Lessons

Industrial Arcadia. Teching and Research in Architecture

An urbanist research project on concepts of social space rooted in land domestication and landscape idolatry



Title Information

Edited by Harry Gugger, Barbara Costa, Salomé Gutscher, Stefan Hörner, Charlotte Truwant

1st edition

, 2017


196 pages, 155 color and 183 b/w illustrations, graphics, and plans

21 x 31 cm

ISBN 978-3-03860-087-9

In cooperation with Laboratory Basel (laba), EPFL


This book, based on recent research at EPFL’s Laboratory Basel (laba), offers a critical look at the area that today forms the state of Israel and the Palestinian Territories and the lasting historical role of agriculture, which sprang from the Neolithic revolution in the Middle East, had for a wide range of aspects of human social and ecological development. Topics considered include agriculture’s role in territorial appropriation and domestication, in structuring the development of urbanization, in creating a national homeland narrative for the Jewish state, and in changing the climate. Israel Lessons explores in particular the three major types of Israeli agricultural development: vernacular Palestinian/Bedouin, socialist utopian Kibbutz/Moshav, and contemporary high-tech desert farming.

Presenting findings through text matched to striking images, graphics, and maps, and featuring proposals for architectural intervetions, Israel Lessons demonstrates how facts and narratives related to agriculture and the climate crisis are intertwined with geopolitics and sectarian ideals of an earthly paradise.


Other volumes in the Teaching and Research in Architecture series:

Barents Lessons (out of print)

Swiss Lessons (out of print)

Icelandic Lessons (out of print)

Venice Lessons

Portugal Lessons

Fez Lessons

Manor Lessons

Authors & Editors

Barbara Costa

 is Head of Research at laba, where she currently also pursues her PhD degree. She graduated from University of Porto’s Faculty of Architecture and also holds a Master’s degree in drawing from University of Lisbon’s Faculty of Fine Arts.

Harry Gugger

 is an architect and a Professor at Ecole Polytéchnique Fédérale de Lausanne's (EPFL) School of Architecture since 2005. He is head of EPFL's Basel-based satellite studio Laboratory Basel (laba).

Salomé Gutscher

 is an architect and working as a teaching assistant at laba. She graduated in architecture from EPFL and Copenhagen's Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

Stefan Hörner

 graduated in architecture from ETH Zurich and is laba's Head of Teaching.

Charlotte Truwant

 studied architecture at Ecole Polytéchnique Fédérale de Lausanne and works as a teaching assistant at laba.