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Carol Bier

As a scholar actively engaged in the study of Islamic geometric patterns, my current research focuses on the intersectionality of art and mathematics, and patterns in Islamic art and architecture as “geometry made manifest.” I am interested in understanding the deep cultural significance of historic Islamic ornament, not as decorative and non-representational, but as expressive of geometry, representing an emergent intersection in the trajectories of the history of mathematics, history of architecture, and philosophy. From 1984-2001 I served as curator for Eastern Hemisphere Collections at The Textile Museum in Washington, DC, where I first began to study patterns in relation to textile technologies, which had developed extensively in the Islamic world prior to industrialization in Europe. My publications reflect a strong interest in crafts and technology, and my most recent book (the catalogue of an exhibition), addresses the emergence of an algorithmic aesthetic in classical Islamic art and architecture.

8 months ago


algorithmic aesthetics, Islamic art, Islamic architecture, Islamic ornament, Islamic geometric patterns, symmetry, symmetry-breaking, quasiperiodic patterns, Oriental carpets, textile technologies, history of textiles, crafts and technology