Islamic Design and Intercultural Exchanges

My prime interest is the modern application possibilities that could be deduced from Islamic art philosophies and forms. In the Middle East where Islamic culture is a strong non-negligible factor, many scholars and designers tend to deal with Islamic art as a historical matter. As I am currently an Assistant Professor of Design Theory not only am I interested in the past but in designing for the future as well. The common idea of appropriating Islamic decorative designs such as interlacing star patterns and applying them to products like doors or table surfaces is no longer acceptable nor valid. Islamic art and architecture did not remain static in the course of history; products of the 16th century are more developed than those of earlier days. Furthermore, different geographical locations produced different Islamic art forms. Therefore the challenge I, professionally, face is to consider old Islamic art philosophies and forms develop them into an appropriate modern visual language and combine them with up-to-date technologies and production techniques in order to produce applicable products not just for today, but for the future as well; products that have strong roots in the traditions of the past and are able to fulfill the needs of the present.

I am also interested in culture exchange as manifested by art and architecture from the Middle East, across the Indian Ocean, and into China. Understanding different cultures enriches the design experience and opens the doors to new ideas and markets. I have worked on China and South East Asia for my MA and PH D. research.

Keywords: Islamic Architecture and Design - Inscriptions and Font Design - Islamic Symbolism, Iconography and Semiotics - Culture and material Exchanges.