In contemporary architecture and design, Islamic geometric design is often used. It’s popular to use geometric patterns in hotel lobbies, restaurants, building exteriors, fashion, jewellery etc.
Sometimes it is done well but often it is not done well. Design errors are made that you would never have seen in the previous 1,300 years of this design tradition. Design conventions on, for example, how you frame a composition, how you tessellate have been universally applied by builders across the centuries in Iran, India, Morocco, Afghanistan, Egypt and elsewhere. It is a mystery on how this could be the case but nevertheless, the use of patterns in architecture followed rules.
Using the heritage of islamic geometric design in contemporary architecture and design is not just about applying a pattern to a surface. It is about using as many aspects of this heritage so that what is created can rightfully be considered to be a continuation of this design tradition.
Examples of bad Islamic geometric design can reliably be dated to the 20th and 21st century.
It’s educational to see what bad geometric design looks like. What are common mistakes? And why are they mistakes in the first place? We present some common errors here.
Good Design = Design created with an awareness of historical best practice in Islamic geometric design.
Bad Design = Design that demonstrates insufficient awareness of Islamic geometric design conventions.