The Muqarnas is a feature of Islamic architecture that has inspired Cyril Afsa’s 3d Table lamp.
3D HADAR Lamp by Cyril Afsa
The muqarnas reminds me a little of a bee hive, as it appears to be a tessellation of geometric shapes that form a cave like structure with spatial depth. But the shapes used to form the muqarnas are a little more complicated and have what appears to be an infinite depth due to the various shapes used to form the pattern.
Cyril Afsa’s lamp design is a modern day realisation of the crafts based link to traditional Islamic art. An every day, and therefore very practical, object to which the Islamic aesthetics of the muqarnas is applied. Traditionally, elaborate patterns and designs would have been applied to nearly every kind of object encountered in the daily life of a resident in an Islamic land including but not limited to decanters, vases, plates, jewellery boxes as well as architectural monuments.
The merger of the traditional application of an Islamic design with the modern process of 3D printing is an example of how digital technologies are entering the sphere of contemporary Islamic art. As can be seen in this example by Cyril Afsa, the results have amazing potential. The most significant aspect of utilising digital technology in producing these art works is the ability to attain a high level or accuracy – an accuracy that is required for implementing the various patterns that have become well-recognised in Islamic art.
There are some beautiful examples of Muqarnas to be found in the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain, as well as the Shah Mosque in Isfahan, Iran. Have a look at this page on wikipedia for more information and images of the above mentioned examples: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muqarnas
Very interestingly, a fairly recent discovery has found that the muqarnas feature was incorporated in the archway over one of the entrances to the Divrigi mosque (Turkey) in such as way as to cast a shadow of a man.
Shadow of man reading cast by design in Divrigi Ulu mosque, Sivas, Turkey
The shadow of a man reading and another of a person standing in prayer are cast in accordance with the sun’s changing position in the sky. Therefore, a combination of mathematics, architecture, art and astrology were combined in the design of this mosque which was founded in 1228. Find out more here: New Discoveries in the Islamic Complex of Mathematics, Architecture and Art