8 posts tagged with Islam and architecture.
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"I felt like I'd been catapulted from one end of the universe to the other"

This weekend marks the time of the Hajj, a core pillar of Islam in which great tides of humanity venture to the ancient city of Mecca to honor God. Predating Mohammed's birth by centuries, the pilgrimage comprises several days of rites, from congregation like snow on Mount Arafat and the ritual stoning of Shaitan to the circling of the sacred Kaaba (the shrouded cubical monolith Muslims pray toward daily) and kissing the Black Stone (colored by the absorption of myriad sins, and believed by some to be a fallen meteorite). While the city has modernized to handle this largest of annual gatherings -- building highway-scale ramps, gaudy skyscrapers for the ultra-rich, and tent cities the size of Seattle -- it remains mysterious, as unbelievers are forbidden from entering its borders. Richard Francis Burton became famous for touring the city in disguise to write a rare travelogue, but contemporary viewers have a more immediate guide: Vice Magazine journalist Suroosh Alvi, who smuggled a minicam into the city to record The Mecca Diaries [alt], a 14-minute documentary of his own Hajj journey. Browse the manual to see what goes into a Hajj trip, or watch the YouTube livestream to see the Grand Mosque crowds in real time.
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 4, 2011 - 31 comments

Pattern in Islamic Art

Pattern in Islamic Art - thousands of high quality, free pictures of various motifs, patterns and architectural elements of mosques and other structures from Asia to West Africa. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Aug 6, 2009 - 31 comments

The Islamic art collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The Islamic art collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has beautiful objects to delight every fancy, whether you seek manuscript illustration (more), calligraphy (more), glassware (more), archetectural elements (more) and much, yes, more! If you want some knowledge to go with the beauty then you are in luck because on the site there is an overview of Islamic art history from inception to the now.
posted by Kattullus on Sep 21, 2008 - 5 comments

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Come, take a ride and look at some of the Islamic Art of the past. Or, you could call it Art of the Islamic World if you're so inclined. If not, then how about taking into account some of the major milestones of Islam throughout the centuries, from past till present (more examples here), including the art of Calligraphy and Architecture. Not to mention the Arab world's contribution to music, both old and new. [Previously mentioned, here, here, here, and here, with a wonderful comment from nickyskye as usual]
posted by hadjiboy on May 29, 2008 - 28 comments

Impossible Crystals

"This is a story of how the impossible became possible. How, for centuries, scientists were absolutely sure that solids (as well as decorative patterns like tiling and quilts) could only have certain symmetries - such as square, hexagonal and triangular - and that most symmetries, including five-fold symmetry in the plane and icosahedral symmetry in three dimensions (the symmetry of a soccer ball), were strictly forbidden. Then, about twenty years ago, a new kind of pattern, known as a "quasicrystal," was envisaged that shatters the symmetry restrictions and allows for an infinite number of new patterns and structures that had never been seen before, suggesting a whole new class of materials...."

Physicist Paul J. Steinhardt delivers a fascinating lecture (WMV) on tilings and quasicrystals. However, it turns out science was beaten to the punch: a recent paper (PDF) suggests Islamic architecture developed similar tilings centuries earlier.
posted by parudox on Mar 18, 2007 - 11 comments

The Persians Call it Nesf-e-Jahan (Half The World)

Esfahan is home to the Blue Mosque and other buildings with their unique blue tiles which are beautifully shown in photographs by flickr's horizon. Esfahan is a world heritage site and is home to many examples of traditional Persian Architecture which is made up of eight traditional forms which taken together form the foundation on which it was based in the same way that music was once based on a finite number of notes.
posted by adamvasco on Aug 10, 2006 - 19 comments

Cristobal Vila's Isfahan Movie

An amazing piece of animation made all the better by its magical subject: the lovely architecture of Persia and its storybook capital for some 200 years, Isfahan. Cristobal Vila, principle of Eterea Studios, shares behind the scenes information... and you can even purchase a print from the movie, if you're so inclined. Be sure to check out his other works. Via Times & Seasons.
posted by silusGROK on May 7, 2005 - 15 comments

Sacred Commerce?

Sacred Commerce? Funny, I walked daily to work past the World Trade Center, and have been in the Middle East more than once, but it never occured to me to connect the WTC with Islamic architecture until I read this.
posted by MidasMulligan on Dec 31, 2001 - 1 comment

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