BREAKING DOWN ISLAMIC GEOMETRY – A WORKSHOP BY AR. MAHEK KHAN
JD Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore organized a workshop on Islamic Geometry on 4th December 2019 which was conducted by Ar. Mahek Khan. Students of Diploma in Interior Design and Post Graduate Diploma in Interior and Spatial Design partook in the informative knowledge session cum workshop. The session delved into the elements associated with Islamic Geometry and also helped students gain hands-on experience through drafting with an emphasis on 2D Geometry. This facilitated the understanding of the construction of the patterns and the incorporation of tessellations to create interesting products.
Ar. Mahek Khan, finds geometrical patterns engaging and worth exploring in design. Her passion for her field and innate design aesthetics, led to her nomination for Design Trends Excellence Award 2018, Mumbai. Ar. Khan’s enthusiasm towards designing with geometry and particularly Islamic geometry has found her participating in various competitions. She also creates product designing like mood lightings using Islamic Geometry as a design principle. Ar. Khan maintains her fascination for geometric design in her blog wherein she has elaborated on topics such as ‘Geometry as a Vocabulary of Architecture: Geometrization of Architectural Form’ and ‘A series of application of Geometric Forms into Architectural coasters Design Development’
The session commenced with a brief introduction about Islamic geometry, a glimpse into the speaker’s projects and the Lourve Abu Dhabi designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, that is a reflection of Islamic geometric patterns. Ar. Khan also shared that the process of creating and application of geometry can be used in various fields of design such as product design,
furniture design, apparel design, jewellery design, interior design, etc.
Ar. Khan explained that about 90% of all patterns and compositions in Islamic Geometric Family Tree are categorized as fourfold, fivefold or sixfold patterns. Almost all geometric compositions are set in a rectangle. These compositions have an invisible grid that gives structure and is essential for creativity in design. Grids can be simple or quite complex. The lines in a geometric composition are continuous. They don’t just stop, they have to go somewhere.
In Islamic geometric design, there are essentially only three variables:
1) The grid that forms the invisible structure
2) The size of the grid
3) The content/pattern that is placed inside the shapes that form the grid
These variables can be combined in thousands of different ways to make thousands of different compositions. Repeating a pattern to make a bigger composition is called tessellation. Inorder for students to understand the concept they were provided with a step by step format to learn the basics of the geometry that goes behind the complex geometric pattern. Ar. Khan had placed grids for each student and guided them to create 4 tessallations. The fourth pattern was an 8 point rosette which comes under the 4 fold geometry and is one of the famous patterns in Islamic art.
The students keenness and Ar. Khan’s vast knowledge turned the session into a fun learning experience.
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