Five Fold Patterns – Dr. Serap Ekizler Sönmez

Started on 1 January 1970

Introduction to Geometric Patterns: The Basics for Beginners

Interested in Islamic Geometric patterns and need help with tools and techniques? As beginners, students will be guided through basic ruler-compass constructions while learning terminology and theory.

General Info

  • Date Range:
  • Time:
  • Duration of a lesson
  • Skill Level:
  • Age Range
  • Course Format: Online (Zoom) Recordings will only be available for those with excused absences.
  • Course financesInstallment plans available [click to request]
  • Course Instructor: Dr. Serap Ekizler Sönmez (Geometer/Artist/ Historian of Islamic Architecture)

The Content And Aim Of The Workshop

In this comprehensive program, we will study the theory and practice of five-fold patterns with an academic focus. Geometric patterns are learned in various fields from different perspectives, most commonly through demonstrating how to draw them with ruler and compass construction. Our program extends further as it will address their place in the history of science, architecture, and art.

In light of some contemporary works that have been put forth, we will try to understand how this traditional field of study can still be very productive in creating new patterns today.

We will also present concise information on sources and discuss past and present research. Alongside in-class applications, we will address the concept of “Islamic Thought” with a holistic approach to the Islamic world.

The program outline consists of:

  • Ruler and compass construction of pentagons and decagons that are found in primary sources of the Islamic Sciences 
  • The relationship of pentagons with the golden ratio.
  • The hidden systems within pentagons and decagons.
  • Building a base structure to draw five-fold patterns.
  • Method to divide a corner angle into five equal parts. 
  • The features of the patterns known as “the shah of patterns” or “the mother of patterns” in Persian and other related patterns.
  • The classification of five-fold patterns.
  • Typologies of pieces in five-fold patterns.
  • Building materials and application techniques that vary across regions and times.
  • What is the polygonal structure? Why is it essential to understand five-fold Patterns?
  • Ruler and compass construction of selected five-fold patterns in the Islamic world.
  • The kinship of the patterns and the underlying systems of the patterns.
  • Examples of complex Kundekari doors from the Ottoman era and how to draw them.
  • Double layered five-fold patterns.
  • Why is the Topkapi Scroll important for five-fold patterns?

Our Instructor:

Dr. Serap Ekizler Sönmez is a historian and specialist in Islamic geometric patterns. Dr. Sonmez’s breadth of knowledge stems from her extensive travels to notable Islamic heritage architectural sites consisting of exemplary geometric patterns.

Her exposure derives from visits to Iran, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Egypt, Morocco, and India, notwithstanding her immersion and first-hand experience in her native country, Turkiye. In addition, Dr. Sönmez’s expertise in the theological and historical analysis of geometric patterns extends to noteworthy academic research.


Islamic Geometric Patterns

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