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Resources for teaching and studying architecture during COVID-19 closures

A selection of the publications available on Archnet

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, many educational institutions are moving classes online, a development that is very likely to accelerate the growth of online education and the need for open access pedagogical materials. If you are an educator who has to move your teaching about architecture, urbanism, or other aspects of the built environment online, Archnet resources may be helpful to you.

You may want to start by exploring the Archnet Pedagogy Collection where you’ll find resources that can easily be integrated into an online teaching platform. Our teaching collections, donated by scholars in a variety of fields, contain images of important monuments throughout the Islamic world. Examples include “Aleppo: Streets and Markets,” and “Mosul and Environs,” the latter of which includes images of important monuments that are now destroyed

You will also find fully prepared PowerPoint presentations that are completely OpenAccess, so you can use them as is, or customize them to suit your needs! A good place to start would be the presentations in the collection titled “Introduction to Islamic Architecture“. The first presentation is designed for teachers wishing to introduce Islamic architecture into a broader course, and the second uses the Islamic tradition to introduce concepts important to the representation of any built tradition, before introducing some essential elements of the Islamic tradition.

Monuments of the Islamic World” is a set of 22 lessons on 10 sites from the Dome of the Rock  to the Taj Mahal and how these monuments have resonated in modern and contemporary architecture.

Architectural and Urban Forms of the Islamic World is a set of ten presentations that explores the history of Islamic architecture from a formal and thematic perspective. Topics include “Ports and Centres of Exchange,” “Mosques and Madrasas,” and “Material, Ornament and Light.”

Also available are syllabi for various courses such as “Developing Worlds: Planning and Design in Latin America and the Middle East after WWII ” taught by Hashim Sarkis, and a “Cultural History of the Islamic Garden,” taught by Gillian Barker.

One syllabus “Architecture of the Islamic World” can be taught exclusively with Archnet resources. Indeed, Archnet is and excellent source of texts for online teaching, with over 9,300 free and downloadable publications, including the four volumes of “Constructing the Study of Islamic Art,” a comprehensive introduction to the subject by Oleg Grabar.

A selection of images available on Archnet

In addition, all of Archnet’s 8,376 site records, 1,050 published authority records, and 121,000 images and videos,  are accessible to anyone with a working internet connection and compatible device. If you can’t find the images you want on Archnet, be sure to also consult the Aga Khan Visual Archive , a repository of more than 120,000 images relating to the built environment of Muslim societies.  The collection is part of DOME, which includes many visual resources from the MIT Libraries.

A leader in the promotion of Open Access scholarship and Open CourseWare, MIT has a significant collection of courses on architecture that may be useful to professors or students, as well as an extensive collection of Open Access scholarship.


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