“In a diverse world, the destruction of cultures is a crime, and uniformity is a dead-end: our aim must be to enhance, in one movement, the diversity that enriches us and the human rights that bring us together.”
– Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
As the 3rd World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue took place in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan, from 18 to 19 May 2015 on the theme: “Sharing Culture for a Shared Security”. Archnet the globally-accessible, intellectual resource focused on architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture, and conservation issues related to the Muslim world, profiled the diversity of the built environment of Muslim societies from its 30 years of knowledge building and resource sharing.
The World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue was organized in collaboration with UNESCO, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, the World Tourism Organization, the Council of Europe and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Archnet is a globally-accessible, intellectual resource focused on architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture, and conservation issues related to the Muslim world. Archnet’s mission is to provide ready access to unique visual and textual material to facilitate teaching, scholarship, and professional work of high quality. Officially launched in 2002 as a partnership between the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Archnet has since evolved into the largest open, online architectural library with a focus on Muslim cultures. Its digital archives form a comprehensive resource on architecture, urban design, landscape, development, and related issues. Archnet provides a bridge for interested persons to learn how to enhance the quality of the built environment, to compensate for lack of resources for students and faculty in academic institutions, and to highlight the culture and traditions of Islam.
The ambition of Archnet 2.0 is to be the authority in the field of architecture and the built environment in Muslim societies today by providing an unparalleled resource featuring vetted and refereed articles, data, and research. Through contributions from the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard and MIT, and donated collections of historic archives and documentation on contemporary building trends shaping the built environment today, Archnet continues to grow and is well positioned to realize this ambition.
Version 2.0 of Archnet, developed in 2013 and launched in 2014, is a partnership between the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT Libraries. Together, these two institutions established over three decades ago, share an integral education mission to generate and disseminate knowledge and resources; provide fora for debate and discussion; showcase best practices and lessons learned; and, present Muslim visual and material culture with historic, cultural, and geographic specificity.
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