On November 27, 2023 ADA University inaugurated the School of Design and Architecture within the Italy-Azerbaijan University project together with Politecnico di Milano in Shaki, second home of the School.
The event was attended by senior government officials, representatives of public, private, and academic institutions, Shaki community members and a delegation from the Politecnico di Milano.
The inauguration of the School was held in a historic building and an inspiring home for ADA University community members—at the mansion of Zulfugarov’s —the former orphanage where Badisaba teacher, the prominent Azerbaijani enlightener Firudin Bey Kocharli's mission aide, served the Shaki community. She was mostly known as “Badisaba ana” (“Mother Badisaba”) in Shaki due to her services in educating more than 400 orphan children.
The event started with the welcoming remarks by Elkhan Nasibov, head of Shaki Executive Power.
President of Washington Center of ADA University, Galib Mammad and Professor of Politecnico di Milano, Silvia Ferraris provided insightful presentation while talking about the regionalization strategy of ADA university and future plans of the new School of Design and Architecture.
The event continued with panel discussion with participation of Rector Hafiz Pashayev of ADA University, Emin Amrullayev, Minister of Science and Education and Adil Karimli, Minister of Culture. The panel also featured Fuad Naghiyev, head of Azerbaijan Tourism Agency, Namig Hummatov, first Deputy chairman of State Committee of Urban Planning and Architecture, and Sabina Hajiyeva, head of the Azerbaijan’s State Service for Protection, Development and Restoration of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture.
Speaking at the panel discussion, Rector Hafiz Pashayev said:
"This is a significant day for us. It is not only a launch of a new School, but it is about community-building; it is about the symphony of the trio, comprised of heritage, architecture, and education. ADA University once built its campus in Baku inspired by Azerbaijani legacy and culture. Today, with the launch of this new School through international collaboration, particularly in Shaki, on the historical Zulfugarov's house, we mark a new chapter in reviving the heritage. This is how we serve our country."
The launch of the School is an outcome of international collaboration and a detailed preliminary study conducted by Politecnico di Milano. Academic programs of this School will recognize the significance of city-building on par with community-building and bring a new outlook to architecture, urban planning, and design in the country. The academic portfolio will offer bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs in the fields of architecture, urban planning, interior design, communication design, product design, landscape design.
The launch of this School in the region is also part of the regionalization strategy of ADA University, featuring the Gazakh-Shaki-Ganja trajectory.
Benefitting from Italy’s extensive experience in architectural conservation and modernization, and collecting ADA University's mission to restore historic buildings and transforming them into the home for educational activities, the School will be a beacon of "revival of legacy" and a symbol of international collaboration in the educational sphere.