ONYA Collective


Designer: The ONYA Collective
Field: urban gardening, social design & activism
Founded: 2014
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Website: www.onyacity.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/onyacity

One of our fieldtrips during our ECO DESIGN FORUM in Tel Aviv past October 2016 was to „ONYA City“. Heela and Yoav of the ONYA Collective – a gathering of architects, activists, community leaders, and volunteers – took the time and showed us around one of their impressive projects at the New Central Bus Station in South Tel Aviv.

Here are some impressions of our trip and a glimpse at who the ONYA Collective is and what they are doing in their own words:

The Onya Collective started in 2014 as part of the WorldWide Storefront contest, to reimagine alternative futures for large urban landscapes. We focused on the Central Bus Station in South Tel Aviv, an enormous concrete structure that has destroyed the surrounding neighborhoods and is a center for drug use, prostitution, and crime. We launched the Collective with a two-month-long festival on all seven floors of the bus station, showcasing artwork and creative urban agriculture such as hydroponics and a library with a green wall.

Since that time, we have continued to be active at the bus station with a community garden and space on Neve Shaanan street. We give tours of the bus station to highlight the unique challenges of this massive building, which today stands 60% abandoned, but also provides a home for the city’s marginalized populations.

We are working towards turning the “Rampa Garden” on Neve Shaanan St into a community resource available free of charge to the diverse communities of South Tel Aviv.

Today, the Onya Collective is made up of a core group of architects, activists, community leaders, and volunteers. Through our work at the bus station, cities from across Israel have turned to us to copy our approach to Neve Shaanan and do “placemaking” in their challenging neighborhoods. We utilize community organizing principals to design public spaces that serve the needs of all of the residents of the areas where we work.

Heela Harel & Yoav Shafranek of the ONYA Collective
Heela Harel & Yoav Shafranek of the ONYA Collective took the time to give us a grand tour through the controversial area of Tel Avivs New Central Bus Station and prepared us with some quite astonishing input and insights.
onya city entrance
One of the entrances to the New Central Bus Station has never been used and is now one of ONYAs notable urban gardening sights.
New Central Bus Station
Exploring vacant areas of the New Central Bus Station.
New Central Bus Station
Left: Glimpse at a graffiti gallery. Top: One of the very few occupied floors of the New Central Bus Station. Bottom: Resting spot made by the ONYA Collective.


Anika Paape

Anika studierte Industriedesign an der Kieler Muthesius Kunsthochschule. Mit dem Schwerpunkt auf nachhaltiger Konzeption und Produktgestaltung kam die Erkenntnis, dass man als Produktgestalter*in häufiger Teil des Problems als Teil der Lösung ist und damit die Hindwendung zu konzeptionelleren Projekten. Hierbei liegt ihr Schwerpunkt derzeit im Bereich „Reparatur und 3D-Druck“: Wie können Reparateur*innen im privaten Rahmen oder in Repair Cafés noch mehr Selbstermächtigung erlangen und ihre Ersatzteile schlichtweg selbst 3D-ducken? Außerdem interessiert sie sich als selbsternannte Tüftlerin für offene Werkstätten, ist in der Makerszene aktiv und Mitinitiatorin des Repair Cafés im BüzE.

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