Islamic geometric designs

Mosque of Ala al-Din Kayqubad, Nigde, Turkey. Seljuke era (1223CE)
(photograph: David Wade)

All Islamic geometric designs were originally constructed with just a compass and a ruler. By drawing circles and joining intersections of circles with straight lines, traditional Islamic craftsmen have, over the centuries, been able to create hundreds of different designs.



The design on the left is one of the most ubiquitous designs in Islamic art and architecture. On this page you can learn how to make this design.

1. Draw a circle with diagonal, vertical and horizontal lines. Draw a square that contains the circle
2. Draw four pairs of lines that start where the horizontal and vertical lines meet the circle & square. Let these lines extend through the intersections that are indicated by the red circles
3. Draw two squares within the circle
4. Draw two pairs of diagonal parallel lines. Let these lines extend through the intersections that are indicated by the red circles
5. Draw another two pairs of parallel lines, this time they are horizontal and vertical, Let them extend through the same intersections as in the previous diagram 
6. All the necessary construction lines have now been drawn. With a different colour pen, draw the line sections as shown in the diagram
 7. With the same colour pen as in the previous image, draw the remaining line sections as shown in the diagram
8. This shows the final design. The drawing below shows what appears when this design is repeated in a 3 x 3 format
Islamic Geometric Design 

All Islamic geometric designs were originally constructed with just a compass and a ruler. By drawing circles and joining intersections of circles with straight lines, traditional Islamic craftsmen have, over the centuries, been able to create hundreds of different designs.

1. Draw a circle with diagonal, vertical and horizontal lines. Draw a square that contains the circleAdd caption
2. Draw two V-shapes. both start where the horizontal line meets the circle and square. The lines of the V extend through the intersections that are indicated by the red circles Add caption
3. Draw another two V-shapes. both start where the vertical line meets the circle and the square. As in the previous diagram, the lines of the V extend through the intersections that are indicated by the red circles
4. All the necessary construction lines have now been drawn. With a different colour pen, draw the line sections as shown in the diagram.
5. With the same colour pen as in the previous image, draw in the remaining line sections as shown in the diagram.
6. This shows the final design without construction lines. The drawing below shows what appears when this design is repeated in a 3 x 3 format. 
Islamic Geometric Design

Islamic Architecture Series:
5. Islamic geometric designs
6. Geeks Rule: Quasicrystalline Patterns in Mediaeval Islamic Architecture



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