I enrolled for a SIAL subject ('Flexible Modelling') for my elective this semester. Almost all students thought that the subject would be an advanced modelling class for Rhinoceros, only to be told by the tutors that its not. We were asked to used a different software called 'Digital Project' V1R4, a parametric software developed by Gehry Technologies. (Frank Gehry's company)
Never thought that I'd be learning about parametric modelling this semester.
Apparently, parametric modelling is about the flexibility to change the design easily, either by changing the parameters (height, width, depth, curvature, etc) or via scripting. The experts in parametric design don't have to re-model a project if changes are to be made, instead they will just alter the figures in an excel spreadsheet or the script that they use to create the model, and voilà, they can produce numerous variations in a very short time.
The subject comes with another great opportunity. We were given the freedom to choose our own project. I chose Islamic tiling.
I get to learn about the complex geometry tiling that the Muslim civilization discovered during their peak period. This unique geometry system, which is still considered a breakthrough even today, is called Girih tiling.
They are made of 5 unique tiles, that can be arranged in many different ways so that the deco lines in each shape would form one continuous pattern. Here is an example in Darb-I-Imam shrine in Isfahan.
The amazing thing is, this was all done without computers. Pure genius, subhanallah.
Here's another image that I like. A dome structure, also somewhere in Iran.
There is something that we should reflect upon ourselves here. When we see all these achievements by our predecessors, and compare them to ours, where do we sit?
The Muslims used to be the best of nations. They were the leaders in every aspect of life. Here we are only talking about aspect ie knowledge. They became researchers, pioneers in their field and set an example to the rest of the world. It is a legacy that we cannot deny. On the other hand, we have become something else. We can't really say that we are the best of nations, judging from the reality that we live in. The modern-day Muslim is always associated with laziness, corruption, extremist, etc.. There are some great Muslims out there, but their voices are unheard off. There is a great lecture by Dr Yusuf Qardhawi, have a look.
Anyways, here are some snapshots of my work so far. Final presentation is next week.