Our Islamic Patterns research project
Nomad Inception was born as a research project on Islamic patterns. We come from the world of information technology, and our goal was to automate the creation of Islamic patterns respecting all the rules of the age-old art form. We found that a few attempts had been made within the academic world, but the results were affected by a common hindrance: they resembled Islamic patterns, but not always confronted the rules of the art form head on, and consisted mostly of small repetitive patterns.
After much study and research, we have devised a computer system that enables us to automate the creation of Islamic patterns respecting every rule of the age-old art form.
Large Islamic patterns
The technology created allows us to generate designs several orders of magnitude larger than the ones we have found on our trips or in available literature. Islamic patterns are most impressive when the design extends profusely without repeating obvious patterns. The visual effect is completely different when compared with rather small patterns tiled horizontally and vertically in order to cover surface larger than the actual pattern. When the human eye is able to identify a repeating pattern, the brain immediately decodes the puzzle and the impression of grandness and magnificence is suddenly lost. Large designs are mostly found on distinguished locations, such as major mosques or palaces. The reason is simple: few artisans in the world can produce large Islamic geometric designs without tilling patterns, because of the complexity involved in the design phase and the level of difficulty affecting the implementation.
At Nomad Inception, we are able to produce designs much larger than any artisan can. Not just larger, but several orders of magnitude larger. This means we have the ability to cover huge surfaces without repeating geometric patterns. The results are breathtaking.
Original Islamic patterns
We also believe we are able to produce original combinations, a rare feat for our times, we believe. We have produced a number of Islamic geometric designs for which we have found no parallel so far. It is pretty well known that the geometric designs currently created in the Islamic world are copies of motifs revealed in past works, and that contemporary craftsmen base their work on a limited catalog of combinations.
Embellishment techniques for Islamic patterns
By designing Islamic patterns in a CAD environment, we are able to apply interlace embellishments independently of the size of the composition, something very hard to attain via the traditional forms of design, as the process involves highly complex calculations. Interlaces are infinite lines that run along the edges of the polygons forming the patterns and they comply with a very particular rule: they must travel alternately above and below each line crossed. They are regarded as a valuable embellishment as they add to the complexity and intricacy of the geometric design. In small compositions or even large compositions with tilling patterns, interlace embellishments are common. But they are rarely seen in combinations of large motifs, as they are truly difficult to both design and produce.
A rarer form of embellishment is the double-star technique. This technique is produced intersecting interlace lines instead of allowing them to go above and below each other. This technique is simpler than interlaces as the rule adding the most complexity is discarded. However, the technique can be further complicated by adding interlaces to a double-star embellishment. When this second set of lines intersect with each other instead of interlace, then we have a quadruple-star embellishment. There is no theoretical limit to the number of sets of lines we can produce to embellish designs, but even quadruple-stars are hard to find in the Islamic artistic heritage.