Scott Olsen, PhD, is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy & Religion at the College of Central Florida. He is author of the award-winning international bestseller The Golden Section: Nature’s Greatest Secret. Dr Olsen is presently working on Divine Proportion: The Mathematical Perfection of the Universe.
A life-long student of the ancient wisdom, he studied and collaborated with geometers Keith Critchlow, John Michell and Dan Pedoe. He has also worked with physicists David Bohm and Mohamed El Naschie, philosopher of religion Huston Smith, mathematician Alexey Stakhov, esotericist Douglas Baker, and astronaut/mystic Edgar Mitchell.
Dr Olsen is also a national lecturer for the Theosophical Society in America, the Foundation for Theosophical Studies in the UK, and regular presenter for the New York Open Center’s Esoteric Quests. He lectures widely on the perennial philosophy with special emphasis on Plato, the golden mean numbering system, and transformative states of consciousness.
Alan Adams retired in 2008 to pursue a lifelong interest in understanding the structure of Islamic geometric art. His grounding in technical drawing from years as a draftsman, and a career as a scientist served as the foundation for a self-taught path.
To support his independent studies, Alan established a community Facebook page (Drawing Islamic Geometric Designs) in 2014. It is now one of the largest discussion forums on Facebook about geometry in art. Members exchange geometric knowledge, questions, and discoveries. They discuss the technicalities of drawing and the geometric foundations of designs. Many helpful contributions from experts and novices have made it an interesting and dynamic forum.
The ideal end of Alan’s journey would be to master the Mamluk art of wooden panel construction, and to describe it in an English language publication.
Richard Henry is an artist and teacher with particular interest in the contemplative aspects of pattern. He has a background in philosophy and cognitive psychology. Richard studied for two years under Keith Critchlow, one of the world’s leading authorities on the geometry of Islamic patterns. Richard now lectures widely on this subject. He co-founded the organisation Art of Islamic Pattern, where he teaches practical courses on the geometry of Islamic patterns. He has undertaken field studies in Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Turkey and Iran.
Richard is the co-editor and illustrator of Miranda Lundy’s Sacred Number, a book about the history and symbolism of number. He has participated in many group shows and educational projects exploring links between geometry and art. He is a visiting lecturer at the The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts, the Slade School of Fine Art, Central St Martins and an associate lecturer at the Open University in London.
Katya Nosyreva, PhD, is a ceramicist, visual artist, and geometer. Living with her family on Dartmoor, UK, she works with porcelain clay and the visual and symbolic language of sacred geometry. Katya’s PhD research (Prince's School of Traditional Arts, 2013) combined her studio practice with geometry. She designed and made an architectural space for a Sufi centre in Delhi, India. This work explored the practice of traditional craft within contemporary Sufism.
During the course of her PhD research, Katya worked with historical manuals and architectural scrolls on practical geometry. These treasures from the medieval Islamic guild-tradition document practical geometric methods and reveal much about historic approaches. In working with these manuals, Dr Nosyreva finds inspiration for the contemporary geometer.
Simon Trethewey is Director of Studies for the MA program at The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts. He studied at the Royal College of Art in the Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts department with Professor Keith Critchlow and Paul Marchant, graduating with Distinction in 1991.
Inspired by the universal language of geometry, Simon worked for many years as a painter in the medium of egg tempera on gesso. He also works in ceramics and stained glass, designing for a contemporary architectural context. He has exhibited internationally, notably with the British Council in New Delhi and Mumbai where he was a Commonwealth Scholar.
Simon's recent research explores the cosmological proportions found in ancient cultures. This geometry's timeless relevance forms the basis of teaching materials presented as part of the MA programme. In the practice of traditional arts, these same principles are essential components of design.
Lisa DeLong, PhD, completed her doctoral studies at the School in 2007, specialising in the principles of geometric design common to the Islamic and Western traditions. As an award-winning painter, she explores the beauty revealed in the creative dialogue between chaos and cosmos. The patterns and raw materials of her paintings are informed by her travels and research with the School.
Lisa's book Curves: Flowers, Foliates and Flourishes in the Formal Decorative Arts was published in November 2013. In 2016, she presented “Geometry: Hidden in Plain Sight” at TEDx BYU. Lisa is Outreach and Harmony Programme Manager for the School, developing and implementing educational programmes in the UK and internationally.