This folio sets out recent projects by Sharif and Golzari for the Palestine Regeneration Team (PART) which explores how
architecture can ‘stitch, heal and empower’ communities in Occupied Palestine, combining built and speculative design.
Founded with Murray Fraser in 2008, PART’s recent work explores how garden, landscape and green space can be used
in reinforcing their identity and relationship to the land. Sharif and Golzari’s approach brings forward ‘absent’ narratives through spatial means. Using techniques of ‘social mapping’ and analysis of everyday life and traditional cultural practices, the projects promote low-cost, sustainable responses, forming part of an ongoing group of interlinked projects which offer architectural interventions to heal rural communities in Palestine. Projects can be seen as models, working and tested prototypes for other villages across the West Bank and Gaza. PART works with local NGOs, UN-Habitat and municipalities through the repair of landscapes and the regeneration of historic village centres across the West Bank and in the reconstruction of destroyed neighbourhoods in Gaza. This folio features case studies reflecting how PART’s pragmatic built interventions are complemented by more speculative and experimental design work. The former is represented here by the Beit Iksa project near Jerusalem, a part-ruined village regenerated through design participation into a stable and productive landscape where vegetable gardens and eco-playgrounds become spaces of reclamation. The more speculative work includes the Digital Garden project, part of both broader international dissemination of the built work and a method to develop and promote a positive, Palestinian-based creative response to a threatened identity that explores the potential for stealth interventions within the fissures created by Israeli occupation. PART’s work was shortlisted for the RIBA research awards 2016, and The Digital Garden was exhibited at the 2019 AWAN Festival UK, the Chicago Architecture Biennial and the 2020 Berlinale.