Geometries and Design.

Heyyo!

One of the things I first noticed when visiting a lot of sites here in Istanbul were their intricate patterns that decorated, complimented and even formed the architecture. These patterns varied from simple and un-colorful to extremely complex with rainbows of colors. At first glance these patterns just looked like a blanket of beauty. However, when coming in closer you began to dissect the pattern it was composed of. Today we had a workshop with the grad students put on by Cynthia Lapp about these geometric patterns.

Cynthia showed us some examples of geometric patterns here in Istanbul. These patterns ranged from railings, to ceilings, to floor tiles, and many more in between. When looking at the examples, it’s not that I hadn’t noticed the patterns before, because I vaguely recalled most, but it was that I had not paid a ton of attention to a lot of them.

In the workshop we learned about the Vescia Pisces- the intersection through two specifically placed circles, how to make the perfect square without measurements and only circles and lines, and the origins of the ‘life flower’, Metatron’s Cube, Soloman/Suleyman’s Seal, and Mer Ka Ba. Many of these shapes I had seen before, but never thought about how artisans used to construct them perfectly every time.

"Life Flower" pattern

“Life Flower” pattern

During the workshop we did a step by step as a class drawing a design based on six around one (see pic below). By the end our pages were filled with rather complex geometries to conclude with a beautifully perfect shape. Looking at our finished product, it was easy to see how the shape could be turned into a pattern.

Geometric pattern we composed as a class.

Geometric pattern we composed as a class.

Now going back and looking at the same examples, every image became a puzzle that I wanted to solve. Some of these complex patterns undoubtedly involved twice as much work behind the scenes to create. A whole new realm and way of thinking about lines began to unfold. I now viewed these geometric patterns as a tool set for future designs, both two-dimensional and three-dimensional.

Patterns on the dome of mosques.

Patterns on the dome of mosques.

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Pattern along Galata Bridge railing.

Pattern along Galata Bridge railing.

Rail detailing on second floor in the Hagia Sofia.

Rail detailing on second floor in the Hagia Sofia.

Geometry common above entry ways, in corners, and in niches at many mosques.

Geometry common above entry ways, in corners, and in niches at many mosques.

Today I gained a new appreciation for the patterns I’ve been walking by for weeks, and am inspired to create some of my own to put forth into future designs.

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