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Category Archives: AKDC Archives

New Issue of OA Journal DISEGNARECON

Beniamino Polimeni, Senior Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Hertfordshire and Michael A. Toler, ARCHNET Content Manager in the Aga Khan Documentation Center, have edited a new issue of DISEGNARECON, an Open Access Journal on Architecture and Cultural Heritage published by the University of L’Aquila in Italy. The issue, Vol. 15, No. 28, also available on Archnet, includes 7 articles on the theme of “Cities and Migration: Visual approaches to the challenges of increasingly diverse cities,” including two contributions by Polimeni and Toler, the introductory editorial and “On the Move: Michel Écochard, Migration, and Transdisciplinary Exchange in Urban Design.” […]

Happy International Dance Day from AKDC@MIT!

Happy International Dance Day! In 1982 the Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) decided to celebrate April 29, the anniversary of the pioneering French dancer and choreographer Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810) as a day “to celebrate dance, revel in the universality of this art form, cross all political, cultural and ethnic barriers, and bring people together with a common language – dance.” (International Dance Day – International Theatre Institute ITI. Accessed April 28, 2021. https://www.international-dance-day.org/internationaldanceday.html.) The Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT (AKDC@MIT) exists to research and document the built environment of Muslim societies, but architecture does not exist […]

New resources for teaching and learning about architecture

On March 12, just before the Aga Khan Documentation Center closed along with the rest of the campus due to the pandemic, we published “Resources for teaching and studying architecture during COVID-19 closures” on this site. Few other articles in this site have been visited as much as that one, and Archnet saw a significant increase in traffic that lasted through the rest of the academic year. We’ve also been busy since then, adding 62 sites, 151 publications, 42 videos, 1714 images, and 54 authority records to Archnet.  We hope that some of those resources will prove useful to you […]

Rifat Chadirji, one of the “most influential shapers of modern Baghdad,” dead at 93

The staff of the Aga Khan Documentation Center, MIT Libraries (AKDC@MIT), is saddened to learn of the death of the great Iraqi architect Rifat Chadirji (December 6, 1926-April 10, 2020). Chadirji was “a thinker, author, critic, & rationalist architect with a refined aesthetic sensitivity, he devised a particular approach to architecture that he called international regionalism,” according to Nasser Rabbat, Aga Khan Professor and the Director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT Rabbat went on to characterize the deceased architect as “one of the most influential shapers of modern Baghdad and an original theorist of architecture […]

Happy Birthday Michel Écochard

Architect, archeologist, and urban planner Michel Écochard (d. 24 May 1985) would have been 115 on March 11, 2020!  Écochard’s career began in 1932 when he was assigned to the Antiquities Service in Syria where he participated in the restoration of numerous historic monuments.  Simultaneously, he served as a consulting architect to the Syrian government.  It was during this period that he designed the Antioch Museum in what is now Antakya, Turkey.  and in 1940 became Director of Urban Planning. He documented this period in albums he compiled on historic sites in Damascus, Aleppo, and across Syria. In 1946 he […]

Join us for Books and Bites, February 26

MIT Libraries and the Aga Khan Documentation Center are pleased to invite you to “Books and Bites,” a new event hosted in Rotch Library showcasing recent library acquisitions of interest to Architecture + Islamic Studies. We will have an array of newly acquired books and other materials available for you to peruse, and your librarians will be there to answer questions. Come see what’s new, have a bite to eat, and chat with colleagues. Wednesday, February 26 from 5 to 7 PM Rotch Library Reading Room MIT Building 7-238 Light Finger Food and Refreshments Served

AKDC Program Head to Speak at the Gulf Architecture Project Conference in the Qatar National Library

AKDC Program Head and Archnet Content Manager Michael Toler will present the on the collections and activities of the Aga Khan Documentation Center, MIT Libraries (AKDC@MIT), Saturday, October 12, at 9 am, in Auditorium of the Qatar National Library (QNL), Doha, Qatar. Toler’s presentation, “Gulf Architecture in the Archives of the Aga Khan DocumentationCenter, MIT Libraries: Stories and Lessons,” in a Keynote of the Gulf Architecture Conference and Exhibition, organized by the QNL in collaboration with Liverpool University’s School of Architecture, Qatar University’s Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, and Ibrahim Jaidah, CEO and Chief Architect, Arab Engineering Bureau. The […]

Rifat Chadirji Archive includes drawings of his 1966 building destroyed in January 2019

In this post Betsy Baldwin, Collections Archivist in AKDC@MIT, reports on some drawings recently discovered in the archive of pioneering Iraqi architect Rifat Chadirji. A recent set of original architectural drawings discovered within the Rifat Chadirji Archive include drawings of the National Insurance Company Building that he designed for Mosul. Constructed in 1966, this building was put to a shockingly horrible use in 2017 when ISIS used it to execute people it decided had broken Islamic law, most notably young gay men who were thrown from it to their deaths. After the recapture of Mosul, restoration was considered. Unfortunately, the […]