Dima is an architect, artist, and researcher interested in the ground, objects, displacement, restitution, forgeries, and living archives.
Dima leads the MA City Design studio focused on archaeological sites in Palestine as sites of urban struggle. Her practice explores the power of the ground, its strata, and its artefacts in revealing silenced narratives and embedded intergenerational memories.
Dima holds an M.Arch from the Yale School of Architecture and a B. Arch (Hons) from Kingston School of Art. She founded Hollow Forms, a glass blowing project with the Twam family in Jaba’, Palestine in 2016. She will be Jameel Fellow at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 2022.
School, Centre or Area
Dima’s research crosses multiple scales from the scale of the object, such as a displaced or looted artefact, to the scale of a landscape, such as archaeological sites.
She’s interested in excavating multiscalar nodes within Palestine. Some of those include the history of colonial archaeology, excavation labour, the history and material culture of glass, and the spatial imaginaries of our landscapes.
Dima’s practice navigates the field of architecture through multiple scales and forms.
Her projects are developed closely with archaeologists, glass blowers, activists, NGOs, anthropologists, and sound artists. She works with glass, text, archives, maps, plaster casts, and film, understanding each as an evocative object and emotional companion.
She founded Hollow Forms in 2016, a design and research platform that explores the history of glass in Palestine. The research will continue at the Victoria & Albert Museum through the Jameel Fellowship in 2022.
Her writing appears in the Jerusalem Quarterly, Migrant Journal, Paprika!, and Lifta Volumes. She is currently co-editing a book titled Atlas of Wild Things on the cultural imaginary of the UAE’s landscape. She is also a member and co-foundress of the Depth Unknown collective.
Current and recent projects
Sebastia (short documentary); 2020-Continuous
Sebastia examines the connection between biblical archaeology and the expanding apartheid system in rural Palestine. The film connects multiple nodes of violence in the specific archaeological site Sebastia in the West Bank including ecological terrorism, landgrabs, religious tourism, and militarised archaeology. The film was commissioned by e-flux Architecture and Het Het Nieuwe Instituut.
The Ghosts sculptural glass collection examines displaced glass vessels from Greater Syria and questions concepts of value, forgeries, and restitution. The glass sculptures are clear replicas of the displaced originals, and through their replication and display in Amman, act as a form of restitution and restoration of the individual and the collective. The project continues through research on forgeries, analysing history of acquisition, and looks at the cultural value of the vessels through oral history and ritual in Palestine.
Publications, exhibitions, other outcomes
(2021) Fragments of a Continued Modernity, for A People by the Sea exhibition at the Palestinian Museum, Palestine.
(2021) Sebastia, Toronto Palestine Film Festival, Toronto.
(2021) Sebastia, Dar El Nimer, Beirut.
(2021) Sebastia for Imagining the Holy x Reel Palestine Series Exhibition. GPP Alserkal, Dubai, UAE.
(2021) The Remains of Na’amaen. Hollow Forms Popup, New York, USA.
(2020) Sebastia. E-flux Architecture + Het Nieuwe Instituut, Virtual.
(2020) Recipe for Happiness. A.M. Qattan Foundation, Palestine.
(2019) Depth Unknown. Sharjah Architecture Triennial, UAE.
(2019) Ghosts. Amman Design Week, Jordan.
(2019) Pixelated Occupation. Haifa Arab Center for Culture, Haifa.
(2019) Scent Collection by Hollow Forms. London Design Festival x Irthi Council, London, UK.
(2018) Rule of Superposition, A.M. Qattan Foundation, Ramallah, Palestine.
(2017) Hollow Forms I. Amman Design Week, Amman, Jordan.
(2017) Hollow Forms II. Dubai Design Week, Dubai, UAE.
(2021) On Foraging. Warehouse421, Expo 2020, UAE.
(2020) Here & There: A Palestinian Collection. Adorno, Virtual.
‘The Double Sided Map Doesn’t Want to Speak, Anyway’ Lifta Volume #1, 2019.
‘The Ground of Palestine: Archaeology as a tool for erasure in Palestine.’ Designo #30 Autumn, 2021.
‘Living the Nakba, over and over’ +972 Magazine, May, 2021.
‘Israel’s Army of Archaeological Looters’ +972 Magazine, October 2020.
‘Echoes of a Depth Unknown’ Jadaliyya, October 2019.
‘On Entanglement’ New York Review of Architecture, 2019.
‘Bedazzled Jerusalem’ Migrant Journal issue #6, 2019.
‘The Steadfast Spirit of Bethlehem’ Harper’s Bazaar Art, July 2019.
‘Solomon’s Pools: A Patient Framework Awaiting Its Potential’ Jerusalem Quarterly 69, 2018.
‘A Sea of Fluff: Seeking the Global South at the Venice Biennale’ Paprika!, 2018.
‘White Paints on Old Stone’ Paprika!, 2017.
‘Feature Interview with Dima Srouji’ Pulp, 2017.