The 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture in Context Reception

Event Details

Tia Jewell
Communications & Events
School of Architecture
College of Design
Georgia Institute of Technology 


Summary Sentence: The geographical, typological, and disciplinary diversity of the nominated, shortlisted, and awarded architecture projects distinguishes the Aga Khan Awards

Full Summary: Opening Reception + Discussion

  • 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture in Context 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture in Context

Aga Khan Award for Architecture Student Review
- by Ricardo Baez

Founded in 1977 the Aga Khan Award celebrates outstanding architectural projects with a profound impact on society. On Saturday, October 22, Georgia Tech, School of Design was the main gathering point for faculty, students and architectural enthusiast that wants to celebrate how architecture can improve communities in Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Deputy Director of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Shiraz Allibhai lecture relates on how social responsibility thrust upon him; his singular encounter to the Aga Khan award board members talks about an intrinsical condition in the architecture of unpredictability. Most of the times, it seems that a turn in fate is what lead some architects to a providential path despite the vicissitudes of such journey.

The Jury for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture selects outstanding projects that follow a long architectural tradition of ameliorating the conditions of communities despite geographical and cultural boundaries. The projects presented at the venue told a story far away from popular architectural trends; it is a story about architectural projects as social catalysts, where the context of the site is as relevant as the technologies and new methods of construction that were implemented.

The projects presented at the Aga Khan Award are a honorous testament of the influence of architecture and how practice can promote urban equity, preservation of historic landmarks, and community improvement. All those values are fundamental lessons on how students can impact societies. Most of the attendees agreed on the moral value of projects and the role of design to improve global issues.

A magnificent reception followed the lecture accompanied by Indian cuisine and thoughtful discussions on the relevance of the projects presented in the discourse of contemporary architecture. Most of the arguments made by guests were around the importance of adhering a social agenda into the design, students also agreed upon the inspirational qualities of such precedents and how they can adapt some concept presented in the lecture.

The Aga Khan awards turned Saturday evening into a wonderful networking experience where everybody had a genuine interest in making an impact on society through architecture. The most valuable lesson learned is that when architecture is used with a legitimate altruistic purpose, it can prove to be the linchpin that connects the city, technology, and society. It is this positive synergy that makes cities evolve and prove the fundamental value of our practice.


Please join us for the
2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture in Context 
Opening Reception and Discussion
Shiraz Allibhai, Deputy Director, Aga Khan Trust for Culture 

The geographical, typological, and disciplinary diversity of the nominated, shortlisted, and awarded projects distinguishes the Aga Khan Awards. The 13 cycles (1980-2016) have unfolded across three continents: Asia, Africa, and Europe. The range of built projects awarded test the constraints of an architecture narrowly understood. They challenge us toward a more capacious understanding of the designed, built, and lived environment.

Shiraz Allibhai received his degrees in architecture from the University of Texas at Austin and Harvard University. He has been at the Aga Khan Trust for Culture since 1997 in various capacities including Senior Documentation Architect, Education Officer, Director of the Aga Khan Humanities Project, and Managing Director of


Saturday, October 22, 2016
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Reinsch-Pierce Auditorium
Architecture East Building
College of Design
245 4th Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30332

Free Parking will be available at 3:15pm in Peters Parking Deck

Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

CATEA - Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access, College of Design, DBL - Digital Building Lab, School of Architecture, School of City & Regional Planning, SimTigrate

Invited Audience
Faculty/Staff, Public, Undergraduate students, Graduate students
Career/Professional development, Conference/Symposium, Other/Miscellaneous, Seminar/Lecture/Colloquium
aga khan award, art, design
  • Created By: Tia Jewell
  • Workflow Status: Archived
  • Created On: Oct 20, 2016 - 12:48am
  • Last Updated: Apr 13, 2017 - 5:14pm