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.
Grabar, Oleg, editor. Muqarnas Volume II: An Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984.
The Aga Khan Program at Harvard University publishes scholarly works on the history of Islamic art and architecture. Established in 1983, Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Cultures of the Islamic Worldis devoted primarily to the history of Islamic art and architecture. Muqarnas, is a lively forum for discussion among scholars and students in the West and in the Islamic world. Subjects to be covered in its pages will include the whole sweep of Islamic art and architectural history up to present time, with attention devoted as well to aspects of Islamic culture, history, and learning.
Volume II: The Art of the Mamluks. The Mamluks were members of a ruling warrior caste prominent Egypt between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries, a period of enourmous artistic changes all over the Mediterranean. This volume. the work of leading experts in the field of Mamluk art, is the first attempt to present the artistic creativity of a single area in a single period in the Muslim world. These articles examine in turn Mamluk court life, Cairo's area and population in Mamluk times, urbanization and monument construction in Mamluk Cairo, residential architecture, the Haram documents, Mamluk astronomy, the decline of the Mamluk metalwork industry, Mamluk pottery, textiles, calligraphy, and painting.