Love Stories of a Place

Bergen School of Architecture︎Thank you


Things fall apart if no one takes care.

 Lifta is characterized by that the landscape, the man-made and nature are relaying on each other. 

It is evident that the inhabitants who built shelters needed to engage with the landscape and work with it. The houses and structures are solid and the oldest one has been standing for many thousand years. The most dangerous threat for them is humans hurting them.

As an architect I can claim that Lifta’s aura or characteristics is special because of the good craftmanship and building techniques, as well as the knowledge clime and nature the builders had at hand.

I can also write that I believethat the one who made it did it with care, as they have been reflecting and analyzing how to be practical, use material close by and use the landscape to support if possible. Build well so it will last, in the middle of natural recourses.

I believe they must have been proud of the job they did and told their childs to love the soil of the land that offers all these recourses; shelter, food, medicine and beautiful nature. 

Every community have their condition where the aim is to live as well as possible. * The question who to care for makes a space political and contested.  

It is impossible to give you a narrative of the condition of Lifta today. It is too complex maybe because it is loved by so many various groups living in their own ‘reality’ unaware or ignoring the others ‘realities’.  

One has to acknowledge that it is not always easy to communicate what one perceives or why one is affected by in Lifta.  In the transformation, from living within to give meaning to a place by documenting and writings of  how and why the place have a value, the experience get lost.  It is impossible to include everything and one have to choose a story line. The constructed becomes a limitation.

In traditional perspective the one that hold power usually has the strongest voice and can make the important decisions. In this case the state of Israel, who claimed the village in 1948.

They have had a challenging time of dealing with it as they cannot ignore the fact that the place value lies in the love given to it trough built gestures, caretaking of the land, and ritual made in relation to the existing spring. 

The state of Israel and the municipality of Jerusalem have acted and decided to build a residential area around the ruins. This action is mad by good intention to the one who are in a possition to inhabit the place in the future, and as they will make the ruins available for turism.

However, it is a plan that create something new on top of the existing. It crushes the dream of some groups feeling a strong connection to the existing and had a dream of continue to work with and in dialoged with what is already established. 

To make a master plan for new residential follows the traditional architectural path creating side effects such as class division. A genetic neighborhood which is not exposed to plurality and other cultural groups. It is partly contemporary colonizing. Where the build and martialized is appreciated
but the people who built and lived in it and their connectedness to the place is neglected.

For them, the imaginate place will be disconnected from the real, the consciences. Generations will suffer and part of the history will be gone.

One creates a new community that will live as well as possible within the new, but the condition of existing community with strong relation to what is already there will stand without their homes.

Part of their identity is teared away from them. This will make social consequences and create a gap between the interested agents. 

I believe Lifta as it stad today possess the power of becoming a bridging place for various agents. I believe it can be used as a common place, an urban park opens for all. The houses can function as extension of the park, welcoming open structures. Some of them can provide shelter for lectures, caretakers, administration and activities connected maintaines Lifta. 

To do so one have to look at Lifta as a radical open place where the existing structures becomes the main character and a real place where margins can play out their own imagination.

If the built structures become the main character, we musta agree that it is in our commonly intrest to care about them so they can live as well as possible. What do they need to live as well as possible? Which gestures is needed to maintain, continue, and repair?

First one has to address and divide responsibilities. To be responsible requires that each agent has to engage with it. Common responsibility requires dialogue and negotiation.

To divide responsibility the curator comes into play. If the architect is a curator it requires commitment in an ongoing process.

Responsibilities is divided into actions based on a vision of how the real place will live. It becomes about a long-time flexible plan where one takes breaks and reflect on if the gestures done is transforming the place closer to the desired. 

We talk about curator in the context of art, but how can one curate space?

History and Etymology for curator

Borrowed from Latin cūrātor "one who looks after, superintendent, guardian," from cūrāre "to watch over, attend"  — more at CURE ENTRY 2

"care" and "curator" shar the same Latin root, cura; 



Late Middle English (denoting an ecclesiastical pastor, also (still a Scots legal term) the guardian of a minor): from Old French curateur or, in later use, directly from Latin curator, from curare (see cure). The current sense dates from the mid 17th century.

curate 2


verb: curate; 3rd person present: curates; past tense: curated; past participle: curated; gerund or present participle: curating

  • select, organize, and look after the items in (a collection or exhibition). 
  • "both exhibitions are curated by the Centre's director"
  • select the performers or performances that will feature in (an arts event or programme).
  • "in past years the festival has been curated by the likes of David Bowie"
  • select, organize, and present (online content, merchandise, information, etc.), typically using professional or expert knowledge.
  • "people not only want to connect when using a network but they also enjoy getting credit for sharing or curating information"


late 19th century: back-formation from curator.

curate (n.)

late 14c., "spiritual guide, ecclesiastic responsible for the spiritual welfare of those in his charge; parish priest," from Medieval Latin curatus "one responsible for the care (of souls)," from Latin curatus, past participle of curare "to take care of" (see cure (v.)). Church of England sense of "paid deputy priest of a parish" first recorded 1550s.

curate (v.)

"be in charge of, manage" a museum, gallery, art exhibit, etc., by 1979 (implied in curated), a back-formation from curator or curation. Related: Curating. An earlier verb, curatize (1801) meant "be a (church) curate."

“The Curate and the Curator “

Kristina Halvorson, from the Brain Traffic blog post about curation: Posted on July 29, 2010 by Erin

(Part three in a five-part series: Introduction, part I, part II.)
(...)I want to look at another kind of content curation—one that I think is vital to the work of content strategists.

As content strategists, it is in fact our job to sort through the wasteland of content—both online and within the organizations we serve—to find the really valuable assets, to organize them in meaningful ways, and to ensure they’re properly cared for over time.

Everyone loves the OED (what us it?)

From Latin cura (“care”), through a tangle of mostly Old French, we inherit the English nouns “curator,” “curate,” and “cure,” as well as “accurate” and—less felicitously—“sinecure.”

The OED‘s first definition for “cure”  is simply “Care, charge; spiritual charge”; from this, it’s an easy step to the care of souls performed by the curate. Long before the medieval English curate, however, Rome conferred the title “curatores” on a wide range of caretaking bureaucrats:


Under the Roman Empire, the title of curator (“caretaker”) was given to officials in charge of various departments of public works: sanitation, transportation, policing. The curatores annonae were in charge of the public supplies of oil and corn.

The curatores regionum were responsible for maintaining order in the fourteen regions of Rome. And the curatores aquarum took care of the aqueducts.[ref]“The Bias of the World Curating after Szeemann & Hopps”[/ref]

To this list we may add the curatores alvei et riparum, who had the care of the navigation of the Tiber; the curatores kalendarii, who kept the account books on the investment of public funds; the curatores ludorum, who oversaw public games; and the curatores viarum, who counted among their ranks Julius Caesar, and kept the Roman roads.[ref]Dictionary of Greek and Roman antiquities. Ed. by William Smith. Illustrated by numerous engravings on wood. Smith, William, Sir, 1813-1893. Boston, [London, printed]: C. Little, and J. Brown, 1870. Digital edition here.[/ref]

In the middle ages, as English began to evolve into its modern form, the curator reappears as the spiritual caretaker of the Christian church in England. Because I am a nerd, here’s one of the two attestations from Piers Plowman that the OED uses to date the term’s entry into English:

For persones and parish prestes that shulde the peple shryue, Ben curatoures called to knowe and to hele, Alle that ben her parisshiens. (Our parish priests, whose duty it is to hear the people’s confessions, are called ‘curates’ because their business is to know their parishioners, and to cure them.)[ref]Schmidt, A. V. C. Piers Plowman: A New Translation of the B-text (Oxford World’s Classics) p. 251[/ref] 

As David Levi Strauss puts it, “one could say that the split within curating—between the management and control of public works (law) and the cure of souls (faith)—was there from the beginning. Curators have always been a curious mixture of bureaucrat and priest.” It’s worth adding that while parish priests were caring for their parishioners’ souls, the inhabitants of medieval monasteries and convents were doing an impressive job of creating, collecting, and keeping safe the written records of civilization.”


care (v.)


Old English caru (noun), carian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Old High German chara ‘grief, lament’, charon ‘grieve’, and Old Norse kǫr ‘sickbed’.

Old English carian, cearian "be anxious or solicitous; grieve; feel concern or interest," from Proto-Germanic *karo- "lament," hence "grief, care" (source also of Old Saxon karon "to lament, to care, to sorrow, complain," Old High German charon "complain, lament," Gothic karon "be anxious"), said to be from PIE root *gar- "cry out, call, scream" (source also of Irish gairm "shout, cry, call;" see garrulous).

If so, the prehistoric sense development is from "cry" to "lamentation" to "grief." A different sense evolution is represented in related Dutch karig "scanty, frugal," German karg "stingy, scanty." It is not considered to be related to Latin cura. Positive senses, such as "have an inclination" (1550s); "have fondness for" (1520s) seem to have developed later as mirrors to the earlier negative ones.

To not care as a negative dismissal is attested from mid-13c. Phrase couldn't care less is from 1946; could care less in the same sense (with an understood negative) is from 1955. Care also has figured since 1580s in many "similies of indifference" in the form don't care a _____, with the blank filled by fig, pin, button, cent, straw, rush, point, farthing, snap, etc., etc. Related: Cared; caring.


noun: care

1. the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something.
"the care of the elderly" 

Opposite of:

  • neglect
  • disregard 

  • feel concern or interest; attach importance to something.
  • "they don't care about human life"
  • look after and provide for the needs of.
  • "he has numerous animals to care for" 

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