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Participants enroute, via boat, to the Arcadia Education Project. The school, which won the 2019 Award, is an amphibious structure, built on land, that is flood-prone.

It’s a cool and damp morning at a school in South Kanarchor, on the outskirts of Dhaka. As the children break for recess, they’re greeted by the sight of six young visitors, approaching the school by boat. The children clamour around the bamboo railings excitedly. Nestled in the heart of South Kanarchor is the Arcadia Education Project, one of the winners of the 2019 cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA). Built on land that floods regularly, the amphibious structure is an innovative solution that responds to climate, context, and community. And that’s exactly what the visitors were there to learn about.

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The Bait Ur Rouf Mosque in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Random circular roof openings allow daylight into the prayer hall creating an ornate pattern on the floor, enhancing spirituality through light.

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture was conceptualised with the hope of creating a platform to cultivate conversation and debate about the built environment and provide direction for the betterment of human life through its enhancement. Award-winning architect and Steering Committee member Marina Tabassum spoke to The Ismaili to continue the conversation.

Children listen attentively to Sonia Mackwani during a storytelling session.

Civil Society has the potential to play a fundamental role in bringing about change for a brighter future. This article features stories of individuals who have brought about change and bettered the lives of others, illustrating that each of us, in our own special way, can can help one another to build a better future.

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