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Monthly Archives: February 2017

AKDC debuts new data visualization tool: LayerCake

The Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT has released its prototype of LayerCake, a 3-axis mapping tool that enables users to build maps layering narrative, time, and space simultaneously. Envisioned by AKDC Program Head, Sharon C. Smith, Ph.D., the tool has become a reality thanks to the design and programming expertise of James Yamada (Master in Design Studies, Harvard GSD). Ali Asgar Alibhai (Ph.D. candidate, Harvard NELC) provided the content for the pilot project by analyzing textual sources of Ibn Jubayr’s 12th century pilgrimage from  Spain to Mecca.  The resulting map documents Ibn Jubayr’s travels temporally, geographically, and with accompanying descriptions […]

Archnet Exhibition: Miss Kitty Lord and Her Egyptian Tours, 1908-1912

Now available on Archnet, an exhibition of postcards depicting Egypt in the early 20th century.  The exhibition features correspondence between the performer Miss Kitty Lord and admirers.  Kitty Lord “graced international stages with her singing burlesque acts from 1894 to 1915,” according to exhibition curator Gwendolyn Collaço, Visual Resources Librarian for Islamic Art and Architecture at Harvard University. The postcards “date from her tours to Cairo, Egypt, where she performed at the Théâtre des Nouveautés du Caire (later called the Folies-Murger, 1911 onwards). Most are addressed either to her stage address or her personal residence in the rapidly developing theater district […]

New material on Algiers, Isfahan, Riyadh, and Tlemcen

Some of the material recently made available on Archnet: Images of architecturally significant sites in Algiers and Tlemcen by Anas Soufan, AKPIA@MIT Fellow in 2015. Sites in Isfahan ranging a Fire Temple originally constructed ca. 1400 BCE to houses built in the 19th c.  The new material is from the archive of the Isfahan Urban History Project, recently donated to AKDC@MIT. Documentation of the restoration of a farm house in the vicinity of Riyadh An introduction to Tlemcen, a city known for is Medieval Islamic architecture, by Amine Kasmi from the Department of Architecture at the University of Tlemcen. Follow this site for future updates.