By Cynthia Penner M. Ed.
“There are many reasons…”, Islamic geometric design expert, Eric Broug explains as his passion for Islamic geometric designs. “ ..this kind of art has absolutely no baggage attached – it is accessible and fascinating to most everyone.”.
Eric has now launched his niche retail endeavor, capturing the beauty of all things Islamic design from various parts of the world. He has been studying and creating Islamic geometric designs for over 30 years and the retail store supports his continued innovative ways to share his passion. What could be so inspiring about geometric shapes to devote 30 years of learning and sharing?
Islamic geometric designs have a long history and are intrinsically entwined in the culture and life of Islam. Within the faith, geometric designs in art and architecture are meant to create unity, order and freedom.
“For 1400 years, Islamic design throughout the Muslim world really held to the highest standards of best practices.” states Broug. The four major shapes used in creating Islamic geometric designs are circles, squares, the star pattern and multi-sided polygons. The simplicity and consistency of these shapes allows artists to engage in the Islamic geometric designs in sophisticated and innovative ways.
Eric further identifies the connection of Islamic geometric designs with heritage, culture and identity. “People all around the world are exactly the same – we all want our kids to be happy, security for our family, and to be allowed to live a normal life…so much in common…”. He believes that by exploring the math, geometry and art of Islamic geometric designs, people from around the world can better understand and appreciate each other.
For this reason, and many others, Eric has created a wealth of resources, in addition to his store, for individuals to explore:
The School of Islamic Design was developed by Eric to situate instructors around the world who are willing to educate and inspire you as you go through your journey into the creative and meaningful world of Islamic geometric design.
Further inspiration can be found through Eric’s website that includes fashion, cellphone covers and conservation. Eric is truly taking the pleasure and complexity of Islamic geometric design in unique and innovative avenues.
Eric also provides opportunities for all to explore the patterns, designs and colours by authoring numerous Islamic geometric design books that include a workbook. These books are written in a variety of languages and you can pick one up today at your local bookstore or online.
Naturally, in response to the recent pandemic which has grounded Eric’s efforts, we find his homeware and gifts shop in northern England to be just the thing to compliment his spectacular journey as a leader in this space. This new venture has allowed him to curate designs that can be both functional and beautiful, within the home.
Eric is compelling as his work naturally provokes the question, “What can architects and designers learn from the past to inform the way they might want to use Islamic geometric design in their work?” He is determined to promote thought and action through his passion for Islamic geometric designs in an effort to bring people together.
Perhaps you too might be compelled to ask yourself, when was the last time you drew or coloured a geometric shape or design? In high school? Or maybe in art school?
Be sure that with the wealth of work developed over decades, Eric Broug has already started to change engagement and understanding of Islamic geometric designs.