Azra Akšamija

MIT Future Heritage Lab | Memory Matrix, Cambridge, MA, 2016. Image credit: Dietmar Offenhuber

The Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices program spotlights North American architects, landscape architects, and urban designers who have significant bodies of realized work and the potential to influence their field.

Azra Akšamija is a 2022 Emerging Voice.

Azra Akšamija is the founding director of MIT Future Heritage Lab, an art, education, and preservation lab based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Akšamija’s work explores “[the] destruction of cultural infrastructures within the context of conflict, migration, and forced displacement,” according to her website. Through textiles, photography, design, animation, and writing, she develops “resistant infrastructures” that aim to challenge social incongruities and improve the lives of communities under threat. 

Projects include:

Akšamija holds master’s degrees in architecture from Graz Institute of Technology and Princeton University, and a PhD in history, theory, and criticism in architecture from MIT. She is an associate professor in the MIT Department of Architecture, where she directs the Art, Culture and Technology program. 

She has received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, the Art Award of the City of Graz, and an honorary doctorate from the Montserrat College of Art.