ISOA’s Summer course on Persian-Islamic Geometric Patterns

On July 23rd, we had the privilege to launch the first international summer course on “Persian-Islamic Geometric Patterns” in Islamic School of Art.
At 9 am, the opening ceremony started with the presence of the participants, course staff and the faculty and officials of ISOA. we got to know each other very briefly and the course Director Mr. Soltanpour described the plan for the course in the coming days. then we had our 1st visit to the holy shrine of Lady Masoumeh and examined some of the patterns up-close along with our course instructor Saeid Shakouri. after lunch, we had a class on Philosophy of Geometric patterns with Dr. Koushei and after that, our first workshop on drawing Geometric patterns started and after getting to know the basics of these patterns, our participants drew their very first pattern in the workshop.

Our 2nd Day started with the 2nd visit to the holy shrine of Lady Masoumeh, a rare and Private visit to Azam Mousqe, and then our 2nd workshop for drawing geometric patterns inside the shrine. after lunch, the 3rd workshop began with working on Geometric puzzles designed by Mr. Shakouri followed by drawing some new patterns. our last program in Qom was a surprise for our participants, where we put our puzzle practice to work and made some Traditional Moaragh Tiles. (which was later given as a gift to the participants)
before nightfall, we left Qom for the beautiful city of Isfahan…

We arrived in Isfahan at midnight, after a good rest, we started the 3rd day of the course with walking toward the Naqshe Jahan Square and visiting Ālī Qāpū palace. We climbed the stairs of the palace and reached the balcony where the whole square was in our sight. after a brief explanation of the history, meaning, and purpose of the square by our course manager Mr. Alavi, we began exploring the geometric patterns in the palace. then we went to Chehel Sotoun palace, a good example of the Persian garden concept and we enjoyed the mesmerizing patterns in the wooden roof of the palace. after lunch, we had our next workshop for drawing geometric patterns in a historical mansion called the Dehdashti house.

We started the 4th day with a long-expected visit to The Royal Mosque of Isfahan (AKA Shah mosque) where we explored some of the lesser know patterns of the Safavid period. We had a visit to the restoration workshop for the Dome, where a master of traditional architecture told us all about the process of replacing broken tiles of the dome. we had a great experience of the echo feature of the main dome with the heavenly sound of Adhan. we visited the Naseriyeh School which is adjoint to the royal mosque. then walked through the Bazaar towards Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. where we examined the famous Peacock’s tail pattern of the dome. (and later that day, learned how to draw it)
we had a surprise visit to the traditional Royal oil factory belonged to the Safavid kings.
for lunch, we had a taste of the local cuisine, Beryooni. we had the 5th workshop for drawing geometric patterns in the afternoon.

We saved the best for last. The Last day of the course started in the oldest Friday mosque of Iran, Jameh mosque of Isfahan (9th century) where we explored some of the most beautiful patterns in the world. we had private access to some of the under-construction parts, all the courtyards and somewhere along the visit, we decided to just rest for a bit, in the calming and peaceful winter halls…
after this amazing visit, we went to Dehdashti house for lunch and our last workshop for drawing geometric patterns.

after the last workshop, we had the closing ceremony where we gave the certificates to each participant and they each had a few minutes to share their experience with everyone.
The course officially ended in the evening of July 27th and we got ready to say goodbye to the new friends of ISOA.