Geometry of Islamic Patterns
Course satisfies AQR, MCS-G, ORC
Islamic art is decorative and based on plane geometry. Students study the geometry of this art, its origins, and its significance, along with cultural explorations during a month of immersion in the culture and atmosphere of enchanting Morocco. Field work includes identification and analysis of distinct geometrical patterns found on buildings, monuments, and artifacts. Students also use geometry to create their own art. Our main site will be the Imperial City of Fes with field trips to sites in and around Fes, day-long visits to Meknès, Volubilis, and Moulay Idriss, and a longer excursion to Erfoud, Marrakech, and Casablanca. Erfoud is located in the sand dunes of the Sahara and is one of the largest oases in 45 Morocco. From Erfoud we take Land Rovers to the dunes of Merzouga where we enjoy a Berber dinner and overnight in nomad tents under the 90 starry African skies and where we get up the next moring to the magnificent sunrise over the Saraha dunes.
We drive the route of 1000 Kasbahs, visit the town of Ouarzazate along the way to the Imperial City of Marrakech, one of the most exotic cities of Morocco, spending three days visiting the old medina, the Koutoubia Minaret, the Saadian Tombs, the Badi and the Bahia Palaces, the famous Jemaa El Fna Square, and the Menara, the Agdal, the Majorelle Gardens. We finish in Casablanca with visits to the port, old medina, Place Mohamed V, United Nations Square, League of Arab States Park, and new Hassan II Mosque, the second largest mosque in the world.