Khandokar Mahfuz Alam

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Stitching Together Old Dhaka’s Cultural Landscape: A Project of Developing a Vibrant, Interconnected Digital Heritage TrailBangladesh

Khandokar Mahfuz Alam is a dedicated Conservation Architect, having spent over a decade with the Department of Archaeology in Bangladesh. His role includes the important tasks of archaeological exploration and architectural documentation, which has aided in the development of sustainable strategies for the preservation of the nation's heritage sites. Alam's training on an international scale has equipped him with a broad perspective on preservation efforts, allowing him to implement international best practices while respecting the local cultural context. He has had the opportunity to collaborate with organizations like UNESCO in the pursuit of conserving cultural heritage.

Aside from his conservation work, Alam has contributed to the academic realm of architectural heritage through his publications. His writings offer insights into Bangladesh's architectural heritage, thus broadening the understanding and appreciation of these important sites. Alam's work in architectural conservation has been recognized through awards such as the Berger Architect's Award and the IAB Award. He remains committed to his mission of preserving Bangladesh's architectural and cultural heritage for future generations to appreciate and learn from.

IVLP Impact Award Project: Stitching Together Old Dhaka’s Cultural Landscape: A Project of Developing a Vibrant, Interconnected Digital Heritage Trail

Through this project, Khandokar surveyed the city to establish an interactive digital heritage trail, documenting 88 heritage sites and offering visitors a detailed guide to Old Dhaka's rich history and cultural offerings. The project’s website connects the diverse cultural heritage of Old Dhaka, making it accessible to both locals and tourists. Users are guided across a spectrum of historical sites, religious monuments, and renowned culinary spots, enriching their understanding and appreciation of the area's heritage.

Khandokar’s project is already connecting community members to new experiences. A local shop owner told Khandokar that a few university students recently bought things from his shop because they learned about it through the website. Additionally, students from a university started a project to clean up some of the historical places after they learned about them on the website.

Visit the Cultural Heritage Trail

"I never knew our history was so rich and accessible until I found this site. It's like walking through time." - Website visitor

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Khandokar was a participant in the IVLP Project Preserving Cultural Heritage and Memory in the Digital Age, organized by the U.S. Department of State and Cultural Vistas.

His exchange experience led to the development of his IVLP Impact Award Project: "My IVLP experience played a crucial role in shaping the vision for the "Stitching Together Old Dhaka’s Cultural Landscape" project. During the program, the preservation efforts in Indianapolis, USA, left a lasting impression on me. I was particularly inspired by the city's successful integration of cultural heritage into modern urban planning and development."

U.S. Communities Visited

Washington, DC; Iowa City, IA; Indianapolis, IN; Charlottesville, VA

"This [IVLP] experience highlighted the potential of using digital platforms to promote and preserve cultural heritage, an approach I've sought to adapt to the unique context of Old Dhaka. By leveraging lessons learned from my IVLP journey, this project is my attempt to forge a deeper connection between the people and the rich cultural heritage of Dhaka." - Khandokar Mahfuz Alam

Country: Bangladesh

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