Based at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture (AKPIA) is dedicated to the study of Islamic art and architecture, urbanism, landscape design, and conservation - and the application of that knowledge to contemporary design projects.
The goals of the program are to improve the teaching of Islamic art and architecture - to promote excellence in advanced research - to enhance the understanding of Islamic architecture, urbanism, and visual culture in light of contemporary theoretical, historical, critical, and developmental issues - and to increase the visibility of Islamic cultural heritage in the modern Muslim world. Established in 1979, AKPIA is supported by an endowment from His Highness the Aga Khan. AKPIA's faculty, students, and alumni have played a substantial role in advancing the practice, analysis, and understanding of Islamic architecture as a discipline and cultural force.
The Aga Khan Documentation Center in the MIT Libaries (AKDC@MIT) is affiliated with AKPIA, and supports the program through collections acquisition and management, and research assistance.
Significant transformations in the world's political landscape are signaling the emergence of a new world order that undermines the certitudes established at the end of World War II. At the core of such discussions, the concept of human rights is significantly challenged, calling for a discussion at the core of ethics for the revisions of the principles and mechanisms of intervention. In reaction to these new transformations some have called for a World Parliament representing the people and not governments to replace the UN General Assembly.
The workshop addresses the agency of architecture and design in a context where the disrespect of human rights is aggravated by the incapacity of global institutions to react efficiently. What are the ethical questions regarding the architecture of refugees? What timescales, short or long terms, represent a priority for architecture and through which agenda – refugee relief, historical preservation, camp upgrades and daily life, or rebuilding and resettlement? What is the role of design in front of the degradation and destruction of cultural artifacts? How can design be channeled towards peace building objectives and possible resettlement projects? What are the material, technological, systemic responses to address emergency needs in the context of refugee camps?
Ethics of International Law as a Framework for Displacees and Refugees Balakrishnan Rajagopal
Ethics and Politics of Post-Conflict Repair Delia Wendel
Material Culture and Historical Conservation Admir Masic
After Belonging Carlos Minguez Carrasco
Architecture of Exile: The Permanent Temporariness of Refugee Camps Alessandro Petti