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.
Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture. Program."The Architecture of Refugees: The Question of Ethics" Cambridge, MA: AKPIA, 2017.
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? Includes a schedule and biographies of speakers.