Like a spinning hypnosis wheel, geometric patterns can be mesmerizing and fascinating, and we see a lot of them here in Dubai. The explanation is easy – early Islam forbade representations of human and animal forms, particularly in religious art. The genesis for this resistance to representations of the living is the belief that only God (Allah) is the “maker of forms” and is alone responsible for creation of living creatures. That is why you will not see human forms in art in mosques or indeed, in many other public places (the Louvre Abu Dhabi and other choice places excepted, of course).
You see geometric design everywhere here in Dubai, from our air conditioning vent screens to our door to the floors to … well, everywhere!
Jimmy and I attended a workshop at the Emirates Literary Festival with an author who has dedicated his career to deconstructing the designs of old to determine how they were designed and how current design can remain true to history. Eric Bourg is the author of Islamic Geometric Design and showed us how the designs were created using only a compass and ruler; an amazing variety of designs can be created with just those two tools. Emaar, one of the large Dubai developers, has consciously developed new and unique geometric patterns for architectural elements.
Here you see geometric design everywhere – and in some unexpected places. One of the many unique and wonderful things about Dubai.