Bethlehem-based architects Elias & Yousef Anastas have been commissioned by the V&A to create While We Wait – a meditative installation made of over 500 modules of stone from Palestine – for London Design Festival 2017.

While We Wait is a meditative installation about the cultural claim over nature in Palestine. The towering structure consists of elements of stone from different regions of Palestine, fading upwards in colour from earthy red to pale limestone. The installation has been designed on a computer, cut by robots and hand-finished by local artisans, the aim is to present a modern stone construction technique as part of a local and global architectural language. This process of ‘stereotomy’ – the art of cutting stones so they can be assembled into a larger configuration, a lacelike structure able to support itself entirely – is central to the work of the Anastas brothers. While We Wait is inspired by the Cremisan Valley, near Bethlehem, where a separation wall is currently being built, threatening to sever the historic link between the valley and its monastery.

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