Historically, the Islamic world has stood out in the area of design, but if you look at higher education in the Islamic world [there are problems]. This is a historically powerful tool usable on a global scale, a living encyclopedia of knowledge and ideas, of peoples and cultures. (AP, 27 Sep 2002)

As trustees of God’s creation, we are instructed to seek to leave the world a better place than it was when we came into it. If ArchNet can help bring values into environments, buildings, and contexts that make the quality of life better for future generations than it is today, it will have served its purpose.

MAYBE INCOMPLETE: The remarks below were reported in the press, however it is unclear if they were part of a speech or if additional remarks were also made. We would be very grateful if any of our readers who may have a complete record would kindly share it with us. Please click here for information on making submissions to NanoWisdoms; we thank you for your assistance.

AKDN Press Release

His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam (spiritual leader) of the Ismaili Muslims; Charles M. Vest, President of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); and Lawrence H. Summers, President of Harvard University today launched a global electronic resource designed to bridge cultural, civilisational and digital divides.

ArchNet (www.ArchNet.org) is the world’s largest on-line resource on architecture, urbanism, landscape design, and related issues with a particular focus on the Muslim world. The creative global community that ArchNet represents, with over 6,000 members from 110 countries, joins together the academic and professional resources of two prominent universities and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

Not only is ArchNet a means by which we share information on architecture and design, it is also a very real attempt to build an architecture of understanding between those regions of the world that might benefit from a better understanding of each other. I think there is a consensus that we need that now more than ever. ArchNet’s particular importance lies in the way it informs the debate on what sort of world we seek to build.

The Aga Khan also underlined the importance of locating it at “an institution whose technological competencies would underwrite its capacity to serve decades into the future.”

Noting that about 70% of ArchNet’s users were under the age of 35, the Aga Khan described it as:

an extraordinarily powerful resource at a global scale which will be an ongoing living encyclopaedia of knowledge for the younger generations in the Islamic world….

As trustees of God’s creation, we are instructed to seek to leave the world a better place than it was when we came into it. If ArchNet can help bring values into environments, buildings, and contexts that make the quality of life better for future generations than it is today, it will have served its purpose.

Pointing to environmental design and landscape architecture, an area in which he said “historically, the Islamic world has stood out”, the Aga Khan acknowledged the commitment of the Harvard Design School to the academic programme that he had endowed in these fields.

Ron Depasquale, Associated Press

The Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims, spoke at MIT’s Media Laboratory with the presidents of Harvard and MIT at the debut of ArchNet. With just a personal computer and Internet connection, scholars, students and professionals in the developing world will have access to a Web site with more than 600,000 images, and 6,000 members in 110 countries.

Historically, the Islamic world has stood out in the area of design, but if you look at higher education in the Islamic world [there are problems]. This is a historically powerful tool usable on a global scale, a living encyclopedia of knowledge and ideas, of peoples and cultures.

SOURCES

POSSIBLY RELATED READINGS (GENERATED AUTOMATICALLY)