Recent decades have given rise to two contradictory processes: accelerated globalization, alongside a reawakening of nationalism. Ironically, the factors that catalyze globalization are the same ones leading to growing nationalism, creating a sense of constant tension. The presence of social networks further increases the polarization created by these processes.
An interactive installation, a sphere that enabled visitors to express their political and social stances, to share their worldviews, and to respond to one another by simply hitting a switch that “heats up” the discussion, at times without noticing the implications of their actions. In this manner, the installation simulates a process of polarization, while fostering discussion and independent research. The use of the unique “boiler switch” represents the ease with which a quick response enhances disagreements and abstracts complex problems into populist slogans.
The installation “The Boiler Room” was designed and constructed by a team of seven designers – students and graduates of the Azrieli School of Architecture at Tel Aviv University: Lior Kantor, Noa Karmi, Lealla Solomon, Osher Lapid, Roi Levin, Barak Weizman, and Oren Elgali.
“The Boiler Room” represented Israel at the 2021 London Design Biennale, whose theme was “Resonances” (curator: Es Devlin). The installation received the London Design Biennale Public Medal, voted by the visitors