The Architectural League of New York awarded their 2017 President's Medal to the honorable Aga Khan, the League revealed in an announcement today. The President's Medal is the League's highest accolade bestowed to an individual in recognition of a distinct body of work in architecture, urbanism, art, or design. Architectural League President Billie Tsien will present the award during a dinner on May 18 in New York.
During the dinner, remarks celebrating the Aga Khan will be made by humanities scholar Homi K. Bhabha, city planner and previous President's Medalist Amanda M. Burden, and architect Diébédo Francis Kéré, along with Billie Tsien and the League's executive director Rosalie Genevro.
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The Aga Khan is receiving the 2017 President's Medal on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the prestigious Aga Khan Award in Architecture, which he established in 1977 to distinguish architectural projects that successfully address the needs and aspirations of communities in which Muslims have a significant presence.
“A commitment to pluralism suffuses the work of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, along with other programs of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and Aga Khan Development Network. ‘Pluralism,’ the Aga Khan has said, ‘results when people decide to value and understand human differences through mutual respect and civic inclusion.’
“He has written that ‘In the troubled times in which we live, it is important to remember, and honor, a vision of a pluralistic society. Tolerance, openness and understanding towards other peoples’ cultures, social structures, values and faiths are now essential to the very survival of an interdependent world. Pluralism is no longer simply an asset or a prerequisite for progress and development, it is vital to our existence.’”
The Medal's notable roster of past recipients include: Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, Ada Louise Huxtable, Richard Meier, Amanda M. Burden, Renzo Piano, Henry N. Cobb, artist Richard Serra, and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, among others.
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