The Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT (AKDC@MIT) is a research center supporting the teaching of, and scholarship on, the history and theory of architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture, and conservation, as well as the practice of architecture, in Muslim societies, with particular focus on the research and teaching activities of the faculty, students, and post-doctoral fellows of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture (AKPIA). Situated within the MIT Libraries, AKDC@MIT, was established in 1979 by a gift from His Highness the Aga Khan, and is a part of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture (AKPIA) at MIT and Harvard.
In addition, the Center funds acquisitions and cataloging of visual and printed documentation on the visual and material cultures of the Islamic world writ large, building rich collections in all languages and formats in these subject areas. AKDC@MIT acquires research materials not commonly found in other collections in North America for the MIT Libraries, including a wide range of specialized periodicals, monographs on architecture, urban planning and development, maps, and documents of preservation and planning authorities.
AKDC@MIT is also responsible for curation of the intellectual and content core of Archnet, a globally-accessible, intellectual resource focused on architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture, and conservation issues with a focus on Muslim cultures and civilizations.
The Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT Libraries is partnered with the Documentation Center of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University. Harvard and MIT affiliates have reciprocal access to library collections at both institutions. The Centers provide, acquire, and borrow materials necessary to produce the best scholarship possible and through planned activities, aim to play a significant role in bringing together the various interests and fields of inquiry from both institutions.
Hedrick, Christian. “Designing Education: The Role of
Architecture in Aga Khan Award Winning Schools
.” Presentation developed for the Aga Khan Trust for Culture
Education Programme, 2018.
From the very first school awarded (the Pondok Pesantren Pabelan in Indonesia), to the most recent (the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs in Beirut), the design and construction of educational facilities within Muslim communities around the world has been a key theme throughout the history of the Award.
As is well known education has been a central tenet in the Aga Khan’s personal philanthropic endeavors so it is most appropriate to begin by highlighting the unique and important role that design has played within the context of recognized educational institutions.
The purpose of this lecture will be to succinctly outline the significant place educational institutions have had throughout the history of the Award. Potential explanations for this will be articulated and the various and diverse reasons why certain schools were chosen as recipients will frame the lecture.