A man walks through the streets of Cairo and he thinks to himself …
“The greatest of antiquities are incomprehensible because they exist in another time. I don’t know the forces that shaped them or the ideals that inspired them. What religious doctrines made the faithful strive to outdo each other. What made them attempt buildings so complex and detailed that they seem to have sprung directly from the imagination of God.”
"Expanding and unfolding in all directions pattern and repetition of pattern invoke a universe that is infinite and unending. They describe a circle who’s centre is everywhere and who’s circumference exist outside our comprehension."
These thoughts could be attributed to a character penned by the great Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges, or they could equally describe the feeling of a contemporary visitor to Egypt who is faced with the marvels and wonders of architecture and design that were created during the Mamluk Sultanate.
Medieval chronicler Ibn Khaldun described Cairo during the Mamluk Sultanate as: “the centre of the universe and the garden of the world.”
And fortunately for us tonight, the antiquities will not remain incomprehensible because we have with us the author of a series of books on Islamic geometric patterning and design; Eric Broug.
Eric has deciphered the elements of design that make up the complex geometries used in Islamic patterning. He presented these first principles in such a way that people may develop a much richer appreciation for the art. He also teaches workshops and has published workbooks so that people may take the art beyond appreciation and into construction.
Please join me in welcoming tonight’s speaker, Eric Broug
Tim McLaughlin's introduction Eric Brough's lecture:
Marvels and Wonders: Geometric Design in Cairo During the Mamluk Sultanate