- 4 September 2007
- Sources: Primary
- Categories: Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) ·· Aga Khan IV ·· Architecture ·· Editor's Choice ·· Environment ·· Islam (Culture & Heritage) ·· Islam (Interpretation) ·· Malaysia ·· Pluralism ·· Published ·· Society (Modernity & Tradition) ·· Society (Ummah) ·· Speeches ·· Values
If ignoring the past was a problem on one side, then the opposite danger was an exaggerated submission to the past, so that some creations and creators became prisoners of dogma or nostalgia. There is a danger, in every area of life, everywhere in the world, that people will respond to the hastening pace of change with an irrational fear of modernism, and will want to embrace uncritically that which has gone before. The Islamic world has sometimes been vulnerable to this temptation — and the rich potential for a new “Islamic modernism” has sometimes been under-estimated.
The Aga Khan Award was designed, in part, to address this situation, encouraging those who saw the past as a necessary prelude to the future and who saw the future as a fulfilling extension of the past. In my view, a healthy life, for an individual or a community, means finding a way to relate the values of the past, the realities of the present, and the opportunities of the future. The built environment can play a central role in helping us to achieve that balance.