At different stages of their modern development, the cities of the Muslim world have recognized their historic centers as endangered heritage sites and worked to protect them. However, it was really in the past two decades, and against an unprecedented scale and pace of urban development, coupled with the introduction of massive metropolitan infrastructures, that public debates about historic cities have made it to the headlines. The debates have also expanded to touch on other aspects of these cities such as their public space and landscapes. The experiences of cities like Cairo and Beirut and the recent uprising in Istanbul around Gezi Park highlight the traumatic impact of the changes that many historic cities are undergoing. They also highlight the urgent need for creating venues for discussion.
The aim of this symposium is to create such a venue. It brings together scholars and experts from the Aga Khan Programs at Harvard and MIT and from the Aga Khan Trust for Culture to articulate the main issues in these debates and to chart out possible areas for research and action.
This event marks the tenth anniversary of the Aga Khan Program at the GSD and of Archnet, the online community and resource.
Natalia Escobar (Phd Student, Harvard GSAS)
Hashim Sarkis (Aga Khan Professor, Harvard GSD)
1:30 – 3:30PM FIRST PANEL
Public Spaces, Historic Cities:
The panel will focus on the role that public spaces play in exposing and mediating the tension between development and conservation and the ways in which architects have worked with these challenges to propose contemporary spaces that enable increased access to an increasingly inaccessible public sphere:
Sibel Bozdogan (Lecturer in Architectural History, Harvard GSD)
Erkin Ozay (Instructor in Urban Planning and Design, Harvard GSD)
Cameron Rashti (Director, Historic Cities Programme at the Aga Khan Trust for Culture)
Nasser Rabbat (Aga Khan Professor, MIT)
Gülru Necipoglu (Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Art, Harvard FAS)
Rahul Mehrotra (Professor and Chair of Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard GSD)
3:30 – 4:00PM
4:00 – 6:00PM SECOND PANEL
Geographies (Old and New)
This panel will study the larger scale, deserts, territories, and parks and the role that the historical landscape could play in mediating modern development.
Rania Ghosn, Design Earth (DDes ’10, Assistant Professor of Architecture, University of Michigan)
El Hadi Jazairy, Design Earth (DDes ’10, Assistant Professor of Architecture, University of Michigan)
Aziza Chaouni, Aziza Chaouni Projects (M.Arch ’05, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto)
Farrokh Derakhshani (Director of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture)
James Wescoat (Aga Khan Professor, MIT)
Gareth Doherty (DDes '10, Aga Khan Program GSD, Lecturer in Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning and Design, Harvard GSD)
Hosted by Club MEDINA (Chauhaus)
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Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the events office at (617) 496-2414 or firstname.lastname@example.org.