Geometry in Istanbul

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The geometric patterns of Istanbul captured my curiosity. How were they drawn? How ware the relationships derived?
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I have been an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Minnesota since I completed a graduate degree there in Landscape Architecture. For five years I led a graduate design course in the Netherlands about water infrastructure, specifically how the landscape and culture have co-evolved over the past 2,000 years, and the future implications of this relationship.

For the past three years I have been assisting the Cities on Water program add a new segment in Istanbul, focusing on water issues in that urban environment. Seeing how infrastructure has evolved in a place that has been continually inhabited for the past 6,000 years lends yet another perspective for design students who are learning how complex our environment and infrastructure systems are.
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After my first visit to Istanbul, I began researching the geometric patterns, finding lots of material on this by folks who have made this their life’s work. Daud Sutton’s work Islamic Design: A Genius for Geometry provides a succinct overview of pattern types, and a great grounding in the geometry that underlies the resulting patterns that we see.
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I put together a workshop for the students, many whom have never heard of sacred geometry, and most whom have never drawn without the aid of a computer. This was the second year of the workshop, given to both graduate and undergraduate design students from the University of Minnesota.
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