ERIC BROUG PDF

I'm a leading expert on Islamic geometric design. I feel passionate about reviving the spirit of creative innovation and excellence that characterises the art and architecture of, for example, the Mamluk, Ghurid and Seljuk eras. For craftsmen in these eras, it was not enough to recreate a composition, they instead made new compositions, they innovated and took Islamic geometric design to a new level. Through my books and workshops, I try to make a contribution to the revival of such a creative attitude to this subject. The initial appeal for me of Islamic geometric design was that it offered scope for creativity, for learning, and for historical study. I committed myself to Islamic geometric design and 25 years later, I still am equally committed to it.

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T o paraphrase Monty Python, what has Islam ever done for us? You know, apart from the algebra, the trigonometry, the optics, the astronomy and the many other scientific advances and inventions of the Islamic Golden Age. Islamic craftsmen and artists — who were prohibited from making representations of people in holy sites — developed an instantly recognizable aesthetic based on repeated geometrical shapes.

The mathematical elegance of these designs is that no matter how elaborate they are, they are always based on grids constructed using only a ruler and a pair of compasses. Islamic design is based on Greek geometry, which teaches us that starting with very basic assumptions, we can build up a remarkable number of proofs about shapes. Islamic patterns provide a visual confirmation of the complexity that can be achieved with such simple tools.

The template has a circle in a square, divided into 12 equal sections. Put the compass point on each corner of the square to draw the first four quarter-circles. Beginning to take shape now. The step by step guide above was made by Eric Broug, one of the most active practitioners of Islamic geometric design working today.

This process connects you very directly to a design heritage. Islamic geometric design mixes elements of maths, art and history. Trying to decipher the steps that led to finished patterns is like a mathematical puzzle. Constructing new pieces involves creativity mixed with an understanding of the various styles and embellishments the ancients used. So how did a Christian Dutchman end up an international ambassador for Islamic design? Eric, aged 48, was in his 20s studying Middle Eastern politics at university in Amsterdam when, by chance, he found a book on the subject in a local bookstore.

He was hooked. Eric has a full-time job at an academic publisher, but in his spare time writes books, gives talks and workshops and runs an atelier in Halifax that designs bespoke screens, logos and other work for clients around the world. About half of his clients are Muslim. Human beings like beautiful things. I want to engage with people and show them the beauty and design techniques involved in making these patterns. So, for example, a client who wants screens for a Turkish restaurant, will be best served with geometric patterns from the Seljuk or Ottoman era.

Eric hopes that his research and outreach work will breath life into future of Islamic geometric design. Currently, there is almost only replication of patterns, very little innovation.

The most interesting patterns mathematically are those based around pentagons, such as the one below, since pentagons cannot be tiled repeatedly to fill the plain in the way that hexagons, squares and triangles can.

For more information on Eric, check out his website www. Or buy his book Islamic Geometric Design. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Science Education Islam Religion blogposts. Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. Loading comments… Trouble loading?

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Muslim rule and compass: the magic of Islamic geometric design

T o paraphrase Monty Python, what has Islam ever done for us? You know, apart from the algebra, the trigonometry, the optics, the astronomy and the many other scientific advances and inventions of the Islamic Golden Age. Islamic craftsmen and artists — who were prohibited from making representations of people in holy sites — developed an instantly recognizable aesthetic based on repeated geometrical shapes. The mathematical elegance of these designs is that no matter how elaborate they are, they are always based on grids constructed using only a ruler and a pair of compasses. Islamic design is based on Greek geometry, which teaches us that starting with very basic assumptions, we can build up a remarkable number of proofs about shapes.

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