Talk – INCLUSIVE PRACTICES, PROCESSES AND PUBLICS: A Conversation about the 15th Cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture

Join us for a conversation discussing inclusive practices, processes and publics, as embodied in the 15th Cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (2022). The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is given every three years to projects that set new standards of excellence in architecture, planning practices, historic preservation and landscape architecture. The Award seeks to identify and encourage building concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of societies across the world, in which Muslims have a significant presence.

The afternoon begins with the projection of a short film on the 15th Cycle, followed by a panel discussion between Tala Gharagozlou – Project Manager Design, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project, Ahmad Bukhash – Chief Architect and Founder ARCHIDENTITY and Director Urban Planning Dubai Development Authority, Government of Dubai, and Farrokh Derakhshani, Director Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The panel will delve into the experience of the 15th Cycle (2022) of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, which received 463 submissions, and had 20 shortlisted projects from 16 countries. The speakers will highlight the work of the six winners of the Award who shared the USD 1 million prize.

The latter part of the event will include a tour of  Tarabot: Weaving a Living Forum, with Beirut-based regenerative architect Adib Dada, founder of theOtherDada, as well as time for questions and refreshments.


5:00pm – Opening remarks and introductory film on the 15th Cycle of Aga Khan Award for Architecture

5:15 pm – Panel discussion with Tala Gharagozlou – Project Manager Design, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project, Ahmad Bukhash – Chief Architect and Founder ARCHIDENTITY and Director Urban Planning Dubai Development Authority, Government of Dubai, and Farrokh Derakhshani, Director Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

6:00 pm – Open time for questions and refreshments

6:30 pm – Tour of Tarabot: Weaving a Living Forum, with architect Adib Dada

7:00 pm – Event ends

Open to all and free to attend. Refreshments will be provided. RSVP here.

Tala Gharagozlou is an architectural designer engaged in both professional practice and interdisciplinary research and academic work. She is currently project manager for design on the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi project. She started her career working for Frank Gehry in Los Angeles, moving on to exhibition design projects in Paris and commercial projects in London with the Soho House Group. In addition to her professional practice, Gharagozlou has pursued her interest in academic and museum work by guest teaching at Yale, the Architectural Association in London, AUS and NYU Abu Dhabi. She was the editor of the 44th edition of Perspecta: The Yale Architectural Journal titled “Domain” (2011), published by MIT Press. She also co-edited with Asiyeh Ziai the catalogue accompanying the exhibition, “Sacred words, timeless calligraphy: highlights of exceptional calligraphy from the Hamid Jafar Qur’an collection” (2022). She is a graduate of Yale College and Yale School of Architecture.

Ahmad Bukhash is the Chief Architect and Founder ARCHIDENTITY, and Director of Urban Planning at Dubai Development Authority, Government of Dubai. He received his Bachelor of Architecture from the Wentworth Institute of Technology in 2002 in Boston, Massachusetts. He then received the (MEXT) scholarship from the Japanese Government in collaboration with the UAE ministry of higher education to continue his Architectural Master Studies in Japan at the Kyoto Institute of Technology, which he completed in 2006. Bukhash returned to the UAE and was employed by Dubai Properties Group from 2007 until 2014 as the Director of Urban Planning and Design. Bukhash later joined the Dubai Development Authority which he works in till date. In parallel Bukhash established his own private architectural design practice named ARCHIDENTITY to identify the need for developments to reflect their surrounding culture and embody the spirit of place through modern abstractions and reinterpretations of traditional archetypes. In the near decade since launching his firm ARCHIDENTITY was awarded as the winner for the 2022 best residential design award by Architectural Digest Middle East; Collaborated with Bentley Motors to create an art installation project and completed high-end residential and cultural projects across Dubai. ARCHIDENTITY was also the only local firm to be exclusively awarded the Design of a Pavilion within Dubai Expo 2020 dedicated to the EXPO LIVE Initiative.

Farrokh Derakhshani is Director of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. He has been associated with the Award since 1982, where his work has brought him into contact with architects, builders, and planners throughout the world. He travels extensively in Muslim countries, and has organised and participated in numerous international seminars and colloquia dealing with contemporary built environments. He has collaborated on a large variety of publications and exhibitions on architecture, and has been involved in organising professional workshops and international architectural competitions. He lectures widely and has served as a jury member at schools of architecture in Europe, Africa and Asia. Mr. Derakhshani’s main field of specialisation is the contemporary architecture of Muslim societies, and his professional work has included the design and construction management of large-scale public works and infrastructure projects in Iran, as well as architectural design in Paris and Geneva. He also serves on boards and committees of a number of cultural institutions. In 2018, he was named an International Fellow of RIBA. Farrokh Derakhshani is trained as an architect and planner at the National University of Iran and later continued his studies at the School of Architecture in Paris (UP1).

Adib Dada is the founder of theOtherDada [tOD] Regenerative Consultancy & Architecture, whose mission is to activate projects across architecture, design, and art by creating unconventional links at the frontier of science. Going beyond traditional architecture, his work employs a holistic and biomimetic design approach with nature and people at its core. Adib served on the Supporting Committee of the Beirut Art Center, and sits on the Board of Tandem Works and Saja Foundation. He earned a BA in Architecture at the American University of Beirut, an MA in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, and completed the Biomimicry graduate certificate from the Biomimicry Institute and Arizona State University.  Adib was listed as one of GOOD Magazine’s GOOD 100 for his project Beirut RiverLESS, which he initiated to implement positive urban interventions including the planting of urban native forests alongside Beirut River and in the city at large. He is a Fellow of the Middle East Leadership Initiative, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and a Bio-Leadership Fellow.

The 16th cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture will culminate in 2025 and the nomination process has commenced and more details can be found on the Aga Khan Development Network website.