Islamic architecture uses geometric patterns because they represent mathematical perfection, order, and unity, which are important values in Islamic art and culture. These patterns also allow for intricate designs that are easily scalable and repeatable.
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Islamic architecture uses geometric patterns because they represent mathematical perfection, order, and unity, which are important values in Islamic art and culture. These patterns are not only decorative, but they also have a deeper religious significance. For example, the use of complex geometric patterns was a way to express the infinite nature of God. Islamic geometric patterns are not arbitrary, but they are carefully calculated to fit into a grid.
“Geometric design is the underlying structure of most Islamic art,” says Karen L. Hanson, associate professor of history of art and architecture at Boston University. “It reflects a belief in the unity of God and the universe, something that Islamic art strives to express. Islamic art is never just about decoration; there is a spiritual meaning behind it all.”
Interesting facts on the topic:
- Islamic geometric patterns are found not only in architecture but also in textiles, pottery, and manuscripts.
- Geometry is not unique to Islamic art, but Islamic art uses geometry in a unique way.
- One of the most famous Islamic geometric patterns is the eight-pointed star which is often seen in Islamic tiling.
- Islamic mathematicians developed many of the geometric principles that are used in Islamic art. The book “Decorative Tile Designs” by Hülya Bilgi contains a collection of tile designs and their underlying geometric principles.
- Some Islamic geometric patterns have a practical purpose as well as a decorative one. For example, the use of star patterns can help to improve the acoustics in a mosque.
|Geometric patterns represent||Mathematical perfection, order, and unity|
|Islamic art expresses||Belief in the unity of God and the universe|
|Famous Islamic geometric pattern||Eight-pointed star in Islamic tiling|
|Practical purpose of some Islamic geometric patterns||Improve acoustics in mosque|
|Developer of Islamic geometric principles||Islamic mathematicians|
|Resource for Islamic tile designs||“Decorative Tile Designs” by Hülya Bilgi|
Islamic geometric design is a sophisticated art form that originated during the 8th century CE and involves existing motifs from Roman and Persian cultures being developed into new forms of visual expression. In this video, the underlying characteristics and techniques of Islamic geometric design, as found in places such as mosques and palaces, are explained. The art form encompasses increasing levels of abstraction, complex geometry, and patterns that seem to repeat endlessly, and yet all that is required to create these designs are a compass and a ruler. Each design begins with a circle that is then divided into four, five, or six equal parts that give rise to distinctive patterns. Furthermore, the underlying grid must be an essential part of each pattern’s creation, making the pattern accurate and facilitating the invention of new designs. Lastly, the tessellation, or the repeating of patterns, is the hallmark of Islamic geometric design which serves to create a visually stunning piece of art.
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Islamic art favors geometry because of its intelligible aspect. Geometry possesses abstraction and the capacity to express and reveal objectively immutable and spiritual truths. Geometry involves proportions and prime roots that are considered the most beautiful proportions (the proportions of beauty).
The most common —and, I think, sound— explanation given for Islamic art and architecture favoring the geometric is that Islam’s prohibition against representational figures [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aniconism_in_Islam ] (called aniconism, and perhaps originally concerned mostly with idolatry in a multi-religion environment) drove creativity in other, unique directions.
Once an interpretation of the hadith bars representing anything living, one is a bit constrained in how to decorate or adorn or express in traditional ways; geometric shapes and patterns are a natural-enough solution (and compounded with other areas of interest in the early-Islamic world), and are in any event defensibly interpretable [ https://www.alartemag.be/en/en-art/the-crucial-role-of-geometry-in-islamic-art/ ] in their own ways:
%3E The main thing I love and respect about them is, even though they are all so diverse, they still share a common law. The idea[s] of symmetry, harmony, and structure [are] alway…