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Shannon Wark


It is a rather difficult task condensing various layers of history. Even more so when each is so inextricably rich. Within Venice lies the northern district of Cannaregio, home to the inconspicuous square ‘Campo del Ghetto Nuovo’ or, the Ghetto; a site that has accumulated such layers over half a millennium. The Ghetto is a multitude of things, one of which is a very small place—where its breadth and length requires less than a five-minute walk. Another is a global metaphor, used far and wide by millions who have little knowledge of the origin of ‘the Ghetto’ within this small square.

This project is about many things. One of which is, “can I even use the word ‘Shalom’ to greet you if I’m not Jewish?” Whilst it can be used in the context of hello and goodbye, it is primarily a salutation of peace and harmony—quite fitting as a response to the question, ‘How Will We Live Together?’ The Factory for New Learning is born out of the idea that the Jewish community is apt to a new era for the Ghetto, where all are invited to participate in a production of new learning that delves deep into both the big issues and everyday nuances that concern the Jewish and wider minority communities worldwide.

Designing for The Factory for New Learning has very much become a deeply personal project; a labour of love. It has shown me empathy in architecture and all its exciting possibilities. Some projects will require sensitivity, patience, creativity and a certain kind of rigour. Become comfortable with feeling uncomfortable and more importantly, never forget who you are designing for.

It’s like saying goodbye to an old friend now this project is over and I’m not quite sure I was ever ready for it.


















always was, always will be Kaurna land



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