Visiting Faculty Member
Yair Varon is a lecturer and researcher who specializes in architecture, particularly the history of architecture, heritage, and preservation of historic buildings and sites. He is a lecturer at the Ariel University School of Architecture and the coordinator of the diploma program in architectural preservation. Yair is a member of several international scientific committees that deal with the preservation of World Heritage sites under the auspices of ICOMOS Israel, and is Israel's official representative to the International Scientific Committee on Fortifications and Military Heritage (ICOFORT). His academic publications include David Cassuto – Due Mondi, a tribute to more than 50 years of professional activity by architect David Cassuto, which was published in Italian and Hebrew. Yair’s research deals with the preservation of defense heritage sites, dark tourism, dissonant heritage, sites of painful memories, and the way populations relate to the built heritage of totalitarian regimes. He advises national and private organizations, and serves as a consultant for urban planning and renewal projects and for the preservation of historic buildings and sites. In 2020, he led the national pilot of "Open for Conservation" – an initiative of the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage, the Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, and the Israel Antiquities Authority. Yair holds a bachelor's degree in architecture from the Polytechnic University of Milan, and a master's degree in conservation and development of heritage landscapes from the department of geography and environment at Bar-Ilan University. His recently submitted doctoral dissertation, written under the supervision of Professor Irit Amit-Cohen of Bar-Ilan University, explores heritage assets that transitioned from military to civilian status. As a visiting faculty member of the Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev, Yair teaches fellows about urban and spatial issues.