A conversation on climate change with Gal Nauer

Rachele De Stefano, Head of architecture at ECC, had the pleasure to interview Israeli architect Gal Nauer. The conversation aimed to delve deeper into her installation showcased at Palazzo Mora.

Gal Nauer’s project, titled FLOW, forms an integral part of the biennial exhibition Time Space Existence. It serves as an emblematic presentation centred on the theme of water and climate change. Through its captivating and immersive experience, it is attracting significant attention from visitors. Gal tells us how she envisions her work can be a platform for change in the way climate crisis is perceived today.



Rachele De Stefano: What significance do you attach to the opportunity of showcasing your project FLOW in the evocative setting of Palazzo Mora in Venice?

Gal Nauer: The Architecture Biennale in Venice is one of the most important arenas to present architectural concepts and theories of current culture challenges. Presenting FLOW in Palazzo Mora is an interesting opportunity sharing our thesis and research-lab with the international public. FLOW is an on-going large-scale project that is being developed both on a theoretical level with a thesis on climate change adaptation solutions, as well as on a practical level, where these adaptation solutions are applied to physical projects.

Palazzo Mora, located in the heart of the city, and rooted in the community, feels connected and dynamic. Dealing with a wide spectrum of art, architecture, design, technology and planning issues. Its outreach to the local community is universal and daring. A true research and development platform.



Rachele De Stefano: Could you share your aspirations for this project and what you aim to convey through it?

Gal Nauer: The climate change affects us all. We all experience the challenges the world and humanity are facing. These changes, led by global warming, have become more rapid, more dense and more intense. These affects cultures, communities, social structures and food security without distinction of country, species, socio-economic level or religion. It is inclusive to us all. People are becoming climate refugees from their homes and cultures and from traditions previously familiar to them. The “new normal” approach of living has to be applied to our living habitats, behaviour and lifestyle. In a way, we are all a product of the comforts of the western culture, with a “fix pill” to every problem. We live in the global world of infinite access to knowledge and resources – a culture of abundance with anxiety of lacking and missing out. The patterns of behaviour of the old normal, does not do service anymore in the current culture. We are living in change and the set of tools required to our era, are tools of adaptation.

At Time Space Existence we present our FLOW thesis in two layers: (a) consciousness (b) practical. On the consciousness level, our goal was to manifest the idea of abundance. Although we are living in a perception of lacking the means, and shortage of sources. With the correct management of resources, the abundance is infinite. On the practical level, FLOW, creating a set of adaptation solutions involving redirecting the resources in a way that answers to the climate change challenges.



Rachele De Stefano: Your focus on the unique region nestled between two seas is intriguing. What influenced your decision to explore this specific geographical area?

Gal Nauer: That specific area is a fascinating extreme desert positioned on the Araba rift valley. While learning about its geological historical data, we realised the still existing paths of water stream tattooed on the ground. FLOW 01 from sea to sea portrays an anchor concept in FLOW’s thesis. The project spanning 180 KM of desert area, from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea along the araba rift valley in the Negev desert, and deals with one of FLOW’s main challenges – bringing water into dry desert regions and maintaining them in constant flow and circulation in the area, as a climate game changer.

We witness desertification taking place in vast areas on the planet, threatening the local area communities. Challenging the local economy, agriculture, and the inhabitant’s general well-being. We propose collecting all water sources, that by gravity are being led into the area, one of the lowest geographical locations on earth, and letting them flow through a channel from sea to sea. There are advantages in doing so for several reasons. Allowing the water flow throughout the region cools the area in several degrees. Water abundance and water circulation allows growing a wide range agriculture in the arid zones. We produce energy through the movement of water. In essence, the dry extreme desert area is transformed into a viable and sustainable region. FLOW 01 from sea to sea, is presented in Palazzo Mora in a video art projected on the four wall surfaces of the exhibition space.



Rachele De Stefano: Envisioning the viewer’s experience, what reactions or emotions do you anticipate as they engage with your presentation?

Gal Nauer: FLOW creates a platform for change in the way climate crisis is perceived today. FLOW proposes a set of solutions to unresolved or untreated climate challenges and problems. The dramatic video presentation of FLOW in Palazzo Mora wraps the viewer in a dynamic journey of the region. The journey back to a region’s wellness. We want the viewer to join the journey on the conscious level. Change the viewer perception from one of scarcity to one of abundance. We want the viewer to realise that we are not at a war with the changing planet, but rather we join the realisation that the change is here, and we, as planners, designers, developers, and inhabitants can and should adapt to the inevitable change.



Rachele De Stefano: Designing within the specific boundaries of palazzo Mora must have presented unique challenges. Could you shed light on the primary sources of inspiration that guided you and your team?

Gal Nauer: Palazzo Mora is a unique building with rich history and heritage. We find it monumental bringing new life into a landmark space. Juxtaposing the new against the old. Posing current conflicts of the environment and humanity changes, against the timeless classicism. The main part of our presentation, dealt with video projection on the perimeter walls of the room. As those had to be protected, we crafted a new wall surface floating it from the original palazzo walls. At the same time, we left the ornamented historical ceiling untouched, passively participating in the experience. Presenting the old world and the new one against each other.

Rachele De Stefano: Climate change poses intricate challenges for architects. Could you elaborate on the extent to which your project offers potential solutions that your colleagues could adopt?

Gal Nauer: Architecture is a wide range discipline. It embraces the arts, beauty, and aesthetics, as well as technology and engineering. Above all, we are held responsible to the life quality and wellness measure of the people using the spaces and projects we design and build. The very first step I take as an architect and a developer when analysing a new project, is carefully examining the environment the project is nestled in, the geography, the landscape the local community and its resources. A “healthy” sustainable project is one rooted in harmony with its surrounding. One that is tuned in to climatic challenges. The design and planning must originate, according to my philosophy, from theses base values.


Photo credits: Matteo Losurdo

A conversation on climate change with Gal Nauer

Rachele De Stefano, Head of architecture at ECC, had the pleasure to interview Israeli architect Gal Nauer. The conversation aimed to delve deeper into her installation showcased at Palazzo Mora.

  • Published: 29.08.2023
  • Category: Conversation
  • Subject: Participants
  • Share: Facebook, Twitter