Mythical Dimensions of the Tel-Aviv Century

By Iris Aravot.

Published by The Arts Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Pondering on Hyperborean Winds in the context of the Tel Aviv century (1909-2009), brings to mind some mythical dimensions that have influenced practices, form and meaning in and of the city. Of the many gates into the subject of mythical Tel Aviv, I chose four main features of the myth of Hyperborea itself: the North (the four winds); Plenty (youth, health, arts); the Apollonian (clarity, boundaries, rationality) and Sunshine (light). The correspondence between components of Hyperborean myth and Modernist ideals is striking. Shifting between Tel Aviv as “the first Hebrew city” and “a modern metropolis like any other”, this city readily provides contents for the four Hyperborean categories.
Urban design, related to these four dimensions, metamorphosed during the Tel-Aviv entury along with mythical content. Similar to creations in the other arts, it was always related not only to Hyperborean features, but also to their diametrical opposite, namely the Dionysian: scarcity, darkness and the South, or rather the East.
The Hyperborean Winds, and their countercurrents that permeated Tel Aviv design, were embodied in philosophical and literary works, in prose and poetry; some of which still feature among Israeli cultural landmarks.

Keywords: Urban Imaginary, Urban Narrative

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp.237-258. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 9.374MB).

Assoc. Prof. Iris Aravot

Associate Professor, Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, Technion, I.I.T., Haifa, Israel

Iris Aravot, B. Arch., M.Sc., Ph.D., Technion, I.I.T., Israel. Philosophy studies at Haifa University. Postdoctoral studies at the A.A. Graduate School, London. Associate Professor in Urban Design and Urban Design Theory at the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning. Research interest: Urban design with special emphasis on new-towns. Phenomenology of Architecture and Urbanism; Imagining and conception; Organizer and chair of the 1st International Conference on Architecture and Phenomenology, Haifa 2007. Head of Graduate Studies in Architecture and Urbanism, Former head of The Research Centre for Architectural R&D and Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies. Published numerous articles in Hebrew and English. Visiting scholar in European and North American schools of architecture.

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