VICTORIA PHETMISY, Staff Writer
Two teams from the Savannah College of Art and Design were awarded honorable mention in the “Just Jerusalem” international competition. Architecture professors Ming Tang and Dihu Yang comprised one team, and architecture students Caitlin Hill and Gordon Marshall made up the second team.
“Just Jerusalem” is a competition for “Jerusalem 2050,” a problem-solving project sponsored by MIT’s Department of Urban Studies & Planning and Center for International Studies. The project’s Web site states that their aim is to “bypass the standard route of negotiation between ‘representative’ people and turn instead to the liberating potential of imagination and design.” Each group was to come up with a proposal that would serve to integrate the different regions and bring them together by using imagination and visionary designs.
The programs drew more than 1,150 registrants from 85 countries, and there were 125 eligible proposals. There were four winning designs and seven honorable mentions. SCAD was the only organization to have two groups place. Professors Tang and Yang won honorable mention for their “The Landwalker” proposal. In a statement released to the press, Tang and Yang said, “The central feature of our project is the development of a series of kinetic structures that demonstrate characteristics of a walking machine, with the potential of moving across the land in a manner similar to that of mobile houses. We named it, ‘The Landwalker,’ a solar energy-driven building.” Their proposal would not claim any land, thereby avoiding the millennia-old conflict between the sides over land.
Hill and Marshall were given this contest as an assignment in their studio class. They saw it as an opportunity to create something for the entire community, instead of focusing on one aspect of Jerusalem. Their proposal, “Jerusalem Olympics: An International City, An International Event,” was designed to bring both nationalities together to unify the country by working toward a nonreligious, nonpolitical event. “We figured in the time it would take them to prepare for the 2048 Olympics, they would have to put aside their differences and come together,” said Marshall.
This project became something they both were really proud of in the end. “This was my first international competition,” Hill stated. “And it really made me think outside of the box.” They always seemed to know they were making a unique proposal and though, only having 10 weeks to work on it, they didn’t seem to have any problems with the time. “I don’t feel like I’ve been wasting my time working on this project,” Marshall explained. Hill agreed, though saying, “I only wish we had more time to develop it further.”
Professors Tang and Yang were unavailable for comment.