Ayaz's Story

My internship at the National Park Service and US/ICOMOS gave me the opportunity to work on a national project that has cultural value for Afghanistan. I had the opportunity to learn documentation techniques based on laser scanning from National Park Service (NPS) architects. In the meantime getting to know a new culture and lifestyle was an amazing experience. This internship has given me a lot of experience that I can bring back to my country as a professional and as an individual. I plant to graduate from Kabul Engineering Faculty as an Architect in 2013 and will continue my career in Urban Renewal and Renovation.

Quote by Ayaz
I believe Architecture is an interdisciplinary principle that involves History, Sociology, Psychology, Science, Art, and Culture... and as an architect, besides being responsible for creating the right space for a certain activity, we are also responsible for preserving and presenting our nation's identity through the built environment.

Ayaz at workAyaz at work

I was interested in this project because I believe conservation of historic sites and monuments gives the understanding of traditional ways of building and the reason behind it which are bases for today's regional and sustainable architecture. The project was documenting two (Bahram-Shah, Masud III) 12th century minarets of Ghaznavid Period which are now in Ghazni. After being trained by NPS architects and learning the basics of laser scanning, we continued our work in US/ICOMOS's office. Our responsibility was producing 2D orthographic drawings of the Masud III tower from previously scanned data.

Besides the technical experience from this internship, I received professional experience while working with NPS architects Paul Davidson and Dana Lockett; and also renewing my vision about the world as an Afghan architect while staying in the International Student House with 90 students from all over the world, surely this experience made a big difference. And last but not least, my trips to Philadelphia and New York and a specially organized tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water House by the State Department made the whole experience extraordinary.

Waris's Story: Ten Weeks, New Experiences

Waris had the unique opportunity of joining National Park Service architects in preserving the Ghazni Towers through a 10-week internship in Washington, D.C. Along with Ayaz, Waris assisted the NPS team in an intricate process used to document historical structures. "We loaded point cloud data into AutoCAD," explains Waris. "We then traced over the point cloud of the intricate ornamentation of the minaret to create a 2D drawing of it. It is a very time consuming process used to create architectural drawings."

Quote by Waris
Waris gained much from his experience on a professional level; but on a more personal level, he was proud to assist in the preservation of something so important to his country. "Being in the professional NPS environment and working with experienced architects provided me an opportunity to exceed my professional knowledge," says Waris.

Waris and Ayaz in front of a laser scanned image of the Masud III Tower.Waris and Ayaz in front of a laser scanned image of the Masud III Tower.

"My interest in architecture grew stronger as I delved deeper into this field. Working with the drawings of the towers was very exciting. It had a profound influence on my future plans and helped me decide to pursue my Masters degree in historic preservation. Historic sites are important for not only historic preservation architects but for all the people who want to know about the past. These sites have many facts and stories buried deep inside." Ghazni is undoubtedly a site with interesting stories from the Ghaznavid Empire.