Wolff Architects with Vivien Sansour

‘Renewing our habits of assembly: borrowing thoughts and practices from Fred Moten and Katriena Majiet’

When students learn to make buildings in architecture schools, the traditional curriculum demands that these new buildings are conceived as potential new and empty spaces, to be filled later with things accumulated over time. But could we, instead, follow Katriena Majiet’s method, who as photographed here by Paul Grendon, is captured building around what she already has, with what she has gathered and, around what she has gathered? Majiet’s method is a demonstration of a particular habit of assembly, a knowledge of construction and a method of gathering that does not easily distinguish between what is gathered and who is gathering.

This winters school series explores her method of assembly as a potential new habit.

Vivien’s presentation will include stories around the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library a project relating to agriculture and independence and where she has written about and photographed rural life and practice. She is working on bringing back threatened varieties ‘back to the dinner table so we can eat our history to become part of our living culture rather than a relic of the past’.

  • Ticket Price: R40.00
  • Genre: Talk
  • Duration (minutes): 60mins
  • Release Date: July 29, 2021 18:00 - July 31, 2021 23:59



Wolff Architects: Ilze Wolff
Speaker: Vivien Sansour


Vivien Sansour is an artist, storyteller, researcher and conservationist.
She uses image, sketch, film, soil, seeds, and plants to enliven old cultural tales in contemporary presentations and to advocate for seed conservation and the protection of agrobiodiversity as a cultural/political act.
Vivien founded the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library as part of this work with local farmers, and has been showcased internationally, including at the Chicago Architecture Biennale, V&A Museum in London, Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, and the Venice Art Biennale.
A culinary historian and enthusiastic cook, Vivien works to bring threatened varieties “back to the dinner table to become part of our living culture rather than a relic of the past”. This work has led her to collaborate with award winning chefs, including Anthony Bourdain and Sammi Tamimi.
Born in Jerusalem, Vivien lives in both Bethlehem, Palestine and Los Angeles, USA.