, Assistant Professor, was reappointed Technical Reviewer for the 2013 Cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. She is one of a handful of Americans to review projects for this highly prestigious architectural prize since the Aga Khan Award began in the late 1970's. Every three years, the prize is awarded to projects that set standards of excellence in architecture, planning, conservation and landscape architecture in societies where Muslims have a significant presence. This year’s jury included Wang Shu (Pritzker 2012), David Adjaye and other well-known architects, landscape architects, scholars and artists.
For the 2013 Award cycle, Michele reviewed projects in Palestine and in the oases of southern Morocco. She visited the sites in March, prepared written evaluations and, in June, presented her findings to the master jury in Geneva. The project in Palestine - revitalization of Birzeit historic center - was one of five winners of the Award. Led by Riwaq, a Palestinian NGO made up of architects and planners, the project was developed with the local community: it involved conservation, infill architecture, urban upgrading, public space design, economic development and revitalization of local crafts. Birzeit was a pilot project for Riwaq’s “50 Villages” strategy, an ambitious program to revitalize fifty village centers throughout Palestine. The aim is to restore value to rural environments, in the face of rampant urbanization and a politically fragmented landscape.