The proposed panel focuses on documentation of the relation between geometry and architecture in general, and the geometrical constructions and demonstrations of geometers and craftsmen in particular. Given that “correspondences” between similar approaches, methods or designs, however close, may not be sufficient to establish direct historical relations, the papers in this session present their respective documentation and conclusive forms of evidence to propose various ‘lines of intersection’ among traditions of geometry, craft and architecture.
The first paper, “Mapping the Mathematical Mind: Lines of Thought in Islamic Art and Architecture” describes a cultural milieu of mathematics, poetry, architecture, philosophy, and theology, within which the expression “geometry made manifest,” used by the historian Jūzjānī takes on new meaning, offering insight into intersections of the histories of architecture and mathematics. The second paper, “Parallel Footpaths: Micro-Mapping Practical Geometry in Persian Lands,” follows the paths of a unique work on practical geometry, namely the “Book of Geometrical Constructions” of Abū al-Wafā’ Būzjānī, and the parallel transmission of its Arabic and Persian traditions through unique and revealing sources, and what they can tell us about “lines of intersection” and historical relations during the Islamic ‘Middle Ages.’ The third paper, “Drawing on Light: The Craft of Geometric Pattern Windows,” a collaboration of two scholars, addresses the use, ornamentation, geometry, craft, and perception of girih (Islamic geometric patterns) in orosi, a particular form of window in Safavid and Qajar periods in Iran, through which geometric and vegetal patterns are projected to light interior space. The paper explores aspects of geometric patterns in theory and practice and examines vegetal patterns in relation to Persian gardens.
A fourth paper, titled "Two Astrolabes by Persian Astrolabe Makers from the Safavid Era Preserved in the Malek Museum: A Description and Survey of Their Geometrical and Numerical Inscriptions" has been added to the panel by the Conference organizers.