January 12, 2007
by Canadian Architect
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is pleased to announce the nine members of the Master Juryfor the 2007 cycle of the Award:
Mr. Sahel Al- Hiyari: Architect, Painter, and Principal of Sahel Al-Hiyari and Partners, Jordan.
Professor Homi Bhabha: Cultural Theoretician, and Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities, Department of English, and Director of the Humanities Center, Harvard University, USA.
Professor Okwui Enwezor: Curator, Critic, Poet, and Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice President, San Francisco Art Institute, USA.
Professor Homa Farjadi: Architect and Principal of Farjadi Architects, UK, and Professor in Practice of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania, USA.
Professor Shirazeh Houshiary: Artist, UK.
Professor Rashid Khalidi: Historian and Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies, Department of History, and Director of the Middle East Institute, Columbia University, USA.
Professor Brigitte Shim: Architect and Partner of Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, and Professor of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto, Canada.
Mr. Han Tmertekin: Architect and Principal of Mimarlar Tasarim ve Danismanlik, Turkey.
Dr. Kenneth Yeang: Architect-Planner and Principal of Llewelyn Davies Yeang, UK, and Hamzah & Yeang, Malaysia.
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture was established by His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, and founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, to enhance the understanding and appreciation of Islamic culture as expressed through architecture. It is the world’s largest architectural award, with prizes totalling up to US$ 500,000 presented every three years to projects selected by an independent Master Jury.
2007 will mark the 30th anniversary since the Aga Khan founded the Award in 1977, and the completion of its tenth triennial cycle of activity.
The Award is governed by a steering committee whose members for 2007 are: His Highness theAga Khan, Chairman; Omar Akbar, Executive Director, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, Dessau;Jacques Herzog, Partner, Herzog & de Meuron Architects, Basel; Glenn Lowry, Director, TheMuseum of Modern Art, New York City; Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean, College of Architecture, Art andPlanning, Cornell University, Ithaca; Farshid Moussavi, Partner, Foreign Office Architects, London; Hani Rashid, Partner, Asymptote Architecture, New York City; Modjtaba Sadria, Professor of Cross-Cultural Relations and East Asian Studies, Chuo University, Tokyo; and Billie Tsien, Partner, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, New York City. Farrokh Derakhshani is the Director of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
The Steering Committee has made important efforts during the current cycle to open the submission procedures of projects to everyone, and to broaden the location and nature of eligible projects. All projects should demonstrate service to Muslims, although they do not have to serve exclusively Muslim communities. Committee members have also tried to focus on and learn more about the works of young architects and emerging talents. The eligibility criteria for the Tenth Award Cycle specify projects completed during the twelve-year period from 1994 to 2005.
Other concerns that have emerged this cycle include an emphasis on architectural excellence in the world; contributions to or the questioning of known ways of doing things or to extending known boundaries in the field; the intelligent use of available resources and materials, and sensitive responses to the environment; and social/ethical responsibility with respect to individual and/or community self-determination.
The Steering Committee has also raised questions dealing with: visionary and speculative projects as agents of change; issues of power and/or co-existence; the articulation of public and/or private spaces and realms; cultural identity and cultural representation; sensitivity to pluralism; and constructive aspirations for individuals and/or societies.
The Master Jury will hold two meetings during 2007. In January, they will review the nearly 350projects that have been placed in consideration, and then select from these approximately 25 finalist projects, which will then be visited by experts as part of the Award’s On-Site Project Review programme. The Jury will convene again in June for the On-Site Review presentations, following which the Jury will select the Award-winning projects. The 2007 Award Recipients will be announced at a ceremony to be held during Autumn 2007.
The Award forms one part of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture which, in turn, is part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). More information on the Award, the Trust, and the AKDN can be found at www.akdn.org.