Pavilion title: Mass Imperfections

Greek orthodox monks introduced the olive wood carving in Bethlehem in the 4th century. It became a major craft industry in the 16th and 17th century after Franciscans and Italian pilgrims shared their know-how with local residents. Today, Olive wood carving represents one-third of the craft industry in Bethlehem.

Unfortunately, Olive wood carvers are victims of a globalized world and mass tourism industry in which their skills are seldom recognized. Imported, cheaper, olive-wood-imitation objects impose harsh competition on the local community artisans whose know-how is fading with history.

Mass imperfections is a project about monitoring and reproducing olive wood master carvers’ hand-made imperfections, creating a low-cost mass customisation fabrication environment backed by a constantly upgraded design replication technique.

Visitors will experience Mass Imperfections as a structure made out of olive wood elements that are small with respect to the structure they compose. The olive wood carvers use simple tools with which they fabricate a first model object. The project will explore forms whose design simulation take into account specific olive wood artisans’ fabrication imperfections. On a community level, it seeks to create a framework promoting innovation through research in the Bethlehem olive wood industry.

Curators & Designers:

Elias Anastas is a French-Palestinian architect and designer. He holds a master degree in Architecture from l’Ecole d’Architecture de Paris Val de Seine. In 2009, he won the first prize of the national competition for the construction of the Edward Said national Conservatory of Music in Bethlehem.

Yousef Anastas is a French-Palestinian architect and engineer. He studied architecture at l’Ecole d’architecture de la ville et des territories, where he received a Masters in 2011. He pursued in civil Engineering and graduated from l’Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees in 2014.

Supported by


Local Industries