Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sawruk Publishes Article About CETA's Work in Afghanistan

The article, "Reconstructing Afghanistan: An Architecture Curriculum for a 'New Way of Life'" by Associate Professor of Architecture Theodore Sawruk was recently published in the British-based International Journal of Islamic Architecture (Volume 2 Number 2, ISSN 2045-5895).
Female students on the Herat University campus with the Engineering Building in the background.

In 2008, the University of Hartford's College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA) was given a $1.33 million grant from the World Bank to help re-establish the School of Engineering at Herat University in western Afghanistan. The grant mission facilitated creating a new Architectural Engineering Technology program to address the growing needs of contemporary Afghanistan.
Over the next three years various individuals worked to forge an innovative curriculum, one that melds the historic traditions of a 2,000-year-old city with the contemporary needs of a Western-style Islamic society.  When the ideally conceived, Western-inspired curriculum was finally taken to Herat University for approval and implementation, a new and harsher reality emerged.
Sawruk's article chronicles the events, individuals, and unique constructs that eventually reshaped the proposed curriculum.  It relays how the current state of the profession, cultural traditions, expanding innovations, and economic realities came to bare on the development of this new program, and how Western preconceptions were revised by Islamic realities.  And finally, how did the melding of these realities supplant the initial utopian agendas of Hartford faculty members in the creation of a more viable, integrated curriculum, one which evolved to support an evolving, unique, and contemporary architectural identity?
Sawruk can be reached via email at

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