Scott Olsen, PhD

Scott will establish the theoretical and philosophical foundation for our Summer School investigations. We will explore number, harmony, geometry, and cosmology through inspirational visuals and practical exercises.

Scott will share his insight into the symbolic and scientific richness of the Golden Section. There are many names for this mysterious section. It is variously called a golden or divine ratio, mean, proportion, number, section or cut. So what is this enigmatic cut, and why is there so much fascination surrounding it? One of the eternal questions asked by philosophers concerns how the One becomes Many. What is the nature of separation, or division? Is there a way in which parts can retain a meaningful relationship to the whole?

Simon Trethewey

How are nature’s precise principles and laws of growth reflected in traditional design?

The beauty of the Golden Proportion is often revealed in elegant spirals. Simon will show how direct contemplation of nature can support our exploration of symmetry and spirals. He will also demonstrate how compass constructions are integral to freehand floral pattern development. Through a series of activities, we will investigate a range of forms found in nature. Further drawing exercises will help us understand how a traditional biomorphic design complements a geometric framework.

Alan Adams

The transition from principle to design, and finally craft is not always simple. Alan will give a glimpse into how his woodworking practice has informed his study of geometry, specifically, golden proportions. From his own experience of studying 10-fold patterns in Mamluk minbars, Alan will share with us how he approaches the processes involved in reconstructing these complex Golden Ratio masterpieces.

Alan will also take us from principle to practice through an investigation of a tool, the sector, which aids proportioning in drawing and craft. We will make our own sector to learn how it works, how it is used for constructing polygons, and how to use it to find the golden and silver ratio proportions.

Katya Nosyreva, PhD

Delve into patterns from medieval Islamic manuals on geometry, focusing on practical five-fold constructions. These manuscripts contain a remarkable visual record of geometric conversation and collaboration. (A glimpse, as it were, to Geometry Summer School if it happened in 15th century Iran.)

Katya will lead us on a practical exploration of the historical relationship between different sciences of the traditional Islamic world – geometry, astronomy, architecture, and mathematics – and how these addressed pentagonal proportions. We will also consider what craftsmen and architects learned from astronomers, geometers and mathematicians. How can their insights inspire our practice today?

Richard Henry

How can we generate new patterns using golden proportions? The Phi ratio saturates 10-fold patterns. Richard will lead an investigation of a historical 10-fold pattern to reveal its underlying principles. Building on this understanding, he will demonstrate how to generate new designs within the canon which obey all the rules of traditional Islamic geometric design.

Lisa DeLong, PhD

An exquisite expression of golden ratio pattern is found on the façade of Darb-i Imam mausoleum in Isfahan. Its complex geometry has been the focus of many academic studies in recent years. One of the most beautiful tile panels from the façade is a masterpiece of Persian design displaying an unusual dual-level composition that perfectly unites the crystalline and biomorphic languages of the Islamic tradition.

Lisa will teach the geometric construction of this panel’s sophisticated pattern.