To enable everyone to learn about Islamic geometric design, regardless of where they live, regardless of background or circumstance.
To establish an education and research institute for Islamic geometric design.
For a design tradition to remain relevant, it has to evolve. It has to be able to provide opportunities for creativity to new generations of designers, architects, artists, and schoolchildren. The creative ethos that inspired so many masterpieces in Islamic art and architecture pushed craftsmen and builders to innovate; to make things that hadn’t been made before.
We teach Islamic geometric design in such a way that it creates a foundation for creativity and innovation. “You need to know the rules before you can break them”
Traditional crafts (Islamic geometric design included) are often perceived as being under threat, and the response is to develop methods to preservation. At the School of Islamic Geometric Design, we also believe in preservation but we believe it is only half the journey. The second part of the journey is reinvigoration. It is about creating an educational curriculum that enables the development of this design tradition; that restores the creative ethos that for centuries allowed and enabled craftsmen and artist to be innovative. Without this creative ethos, we wouldn’t have had the beautiful Mamluk minbars in Cairo, the Seljuks stonework compositions in Anatolia, the Marinid madrassas in Fes and Marrakech, the imposing buildings in Sultaniyya in Iran. or the Itimad ud Daula in Agra, India (to name but a few examples).
Academically, Islamic geometric design does not have a natural home. Art historical research is typically more about architecture and patronage but not about the patterns and compositions themselves. Mathematicians are interested in the subject but reduce the art to line drawings, angles and equations.
There is a need for research into, and documentation of, Islamic geometric compositions and patterns that does not see it through the singular prism of art history, mathematics or spirituality.
The School of Islamic Geometric Design aims to document, conduct and support research. Over a period of 14 centuries, hundreds, if not thousands of compositions and patterns have been created by craftsmen across the Islamic world. Many of these have been lost of the sands of time. Many are still around but undocumented and unanalysed.
About Eric Broug
Eric moved from Holland to the UK to study Islamic geometric design. After a year at the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, he moved to SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), where he obtained his Masters in the History of Islamic Art and Architecture.
For more information about Eric and his activities: www.broug.com
For the 2015 CIADA conference Singapore, I made below presentation. In it, I have sought to set out the challenges and opportunities for Islamic geometric design education.
Support us and help us offer workshops and lectures in more colleges and universities in more countries. Support us so we can develop more free educational resources and enable more architecture and design students to learn how to incorporate Islamic geometric design in their work.
Please Support Us
Through your donation, you will:
1. Fund workshops. Educational institutes around the world want to host our events but they typically have no money to pay for the workshop, let alone travel and accommodation.
2. Support classroom lessons. Primary and secondary schools like to introduce their pupils to Islamic geometric design, because it offers learning opportunities on heritage, mathematics and creativity. Your support will allow us to do more classroom lessons.
3. Enable more free online resources. Many people around the world are not able to access a formal education or to buy books. For those people, online educational resources are often the main way to learn. Creating more online tutorials and courses is a priority for us.
4. Enable development of teacher training resources and courses. To significantly empower a new generation to apply Islamic geometric design in their creative output, teachers need to given the skills and materials to teach the subject,
5. Help us become a physical and online educational institute. Every idea has to start somewhere. The vast majority of our activities are funded by, or done for free by Eric Broug. With sufficient sustainable funding, the vision of an international educational institute enabling a creative revival of Islamic geometric design, will become a reality.
What We Need
1) The School needs a secure and sustainable financial foundation. At present the school is funded by Eric Broug. Revenue from workshops is used to create free educational resources.
2) The School needs sponsors to enable Eric to involve more people and expand its international reach.
3) The School needs friends whose support and advocacy will help the School to grow and expand its network.