Renata Holod is Professor, and Curator in the Near East Section, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. She received her BA in Islamic Studies from the University of Toronto, MA in the History of Art from University of Michigan and Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Harvard University.
Professor Holod has served as Convenor, Steering Committee Member, and Master Jury Chair of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. As architectural consultant, she has worked with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), Arthur Ericson Architects, Venturi Scott-Brown Architects, Mitchell/Giurgola Associates, H2L2, and Michael Graves& Associates, and the Center for Architecture in NYC.
She was Clark Professor at Williams College and the Clark Institute in 2002. In 2004, the Islamic Environmental Research Centre honored her with an Award for outstanding work in Islamic Architectural Studies. In 2010, she received the Provost’s Award for Distinguished Ph.D. Teaching and Mentoring.
Education: B.A., University of Toronto, St. Michael's College (1964); M.A., University of Michigan (1965); Ph.D., Harvard University (1972)
Languages: Arabic (3), Church Slavonic (1), French (4), German (3), Greek (1), Italian (2), Latin (2), Ottoman Turkish (1), Persian (3), Russian (3), Spanish (2), Turkish (1), a Ukrainian (4)
She has done archaeological and architectural fieldwork in Syria, Iran, Morocco, Central Asia and Turkey, and on the island of Jerba, Tunisia. Her most recent project is a collaborative study of the grave goods of a Qipchaq kurgan in the Black Sea steppe of the thirteenth century.
Source: Middle East Center, University of Pennsylvania
Holod, Renata and Darl Rastorfer, editors. Architecture and Community. New York: Aperture, 1983.
To many Westerners, the Taj Mahal in all its splendor typifies Islamic architecture. Yet, the overwhelming majority of Muslims live on the very margin of human existence, far from such grandeur. The merging of Islam's rich cultural heritage with modern technology to help solve problems of individual survival in the contemporary world forms the heart of Architecture and Community. The fifteen projects celebrated in this volume are the winners of the first (1980) Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Most of the projects reflect the present period of transition in Islamic architecture, marked by experimentation and the search for forms responsive to human needs. The hospitals, schools and libraries, homes and hotels, urban-renewal schemes and restorations honored help to redefine architectural excellence as they attempt to resolve the most basic and critical issues confronting the poor peoples of developing nations. The Islamic world is commencing a journey of discovery that helps point the way for future building throughout the world. Architecture and Community brings to life in photographs and drawings and in essays by architects, urban planners, sociologists, and philosophers a mandate for all countries to develop an architecture that is centered on the needs, both practical and spiritual, of man. Architecture and Community is the first in a series of books under the general title "Building in the Islamic World Today".