Tamayouz Excellence Award, Mohamed Makiya Prize, Awards for architecture, Awards in the Middle East, Iraq

Tamayouz Excellence Award announces shortlist for the Mohamed Makiya Prize for Architecture 2018

Regional architecture awards programme, Tamayouz Excellence Award, has announced the shortlist for the 2018 edition of the Mohamed Makiya Prize for Architecture, which celebrates "individuals and organisations that promote, encourage, campaign or influence the advancement of architecture and the built environment in the Middle East."

Also known as the 2018 Middle Eastern Architectural Personality of the Year, the award received 44 entries from 11 countries this year.

The shortlist for the award features the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT, the Arab Center for Architecture, Michael Rakowitz and Rana Beiruti. 

"It was great to see more than 44 individuals and organisations working hard to raise architectural awareness, preserve our heritage and promote Middle Eastern culture in the region and worldwide," said Tamayouz founder Ahmed Al-Mallak. "It is a great day to celebrate the achievements of people who work hard to tell our side of the story.”

Below is a description of each of the shortlisted nominee's achievements, according to Tamayouz Excellence Award

Aga Khan Documentation Center, MIT

The centre has been nominated for its role in supporting the education of the history and theory of architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture and conservation in Muslim societies. Located within the MIT Libraries, the centre is a part of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture (AKPIA) at MIT and Harvard, and was established in 1979 as a gift from His Highness the Aga Khan. It is also responsible for the curation of the intellectual and content core of Archnet, a globally-accessible resource focused on architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture and conservation issues with a focus on Muslim cultures and civilisations.

Arab Center for Architecture 

Based in Beirut, the Arab Center for Architecture was shortlisted for its role in raising awareness about architecture and urbanism within civil society. Its notable activities include its 2015-2016 programme of debates, guided tours, educational workshops and production of leaflets on modern architectural and urban heritage in Lebanon, the 2015-2017 UNESCO Exhibition in Kuwait and Lebanon called "Heritage of Urban and Architectural Modernities in the Arab World", and the coordination of the first Lebanese participation in the Venice Biennale 2018.

Michael Rakowitz

Nominated for his 2018 Trafalgar Square Fourth Plinth's winged bull "Lamassu" -- the original was destroyed by ISIS in 2015 -- the Iraqi-American artist is well known for his conceptual art. Rakowitz's Lamassu tells the story of the damage inflicted on Iraqi culture and cultivation by the ongoing conflict, and alludes to a once-renowned industry. Made of empty cans of Iraqi date-syrup, the structure's form evokes the shape of the ancient hybrid figure, while composed of modern tin cans. Its material denotes the absent indigenous date-syrup and connotes the agricultural environment that has lasted since Mesopotamian antiquity, but is now subjected to contamination and potential disappearance.

Rana Beiruti 

Based in Amman, the architect, independent curator and cultural programmer Rana Beiruti was nominated for her role in the establishment and directorship of Amman Design Week. Also director of 'The Lab', an experimental art space at Darat Al Funun, where she curates a programme that offers artist residences and learning opportunities to emerging artists, Beiruti has long been committed to the promotion, education and accessibility of Middle Eastern art. Previously, she worked as a consultant to Studio-X Amman (part of the Columbia University Middle East Research Center) to introduce a multidisciplinary arts programme in collaboration with the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University.

The winner of the Mohamed Makiya Prize will be announced in October, and awarded during Tamayouz's awards ceremony in December