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Functional Ornament
Partners: Mohammad Abualhuda, Raghad Al-Ali

Rendered “ornament”, “decoration” or “arabesque”, most commonly in orientalist contexts, Islamic geometries and patterns were used as surface compositions and very little evidence of three-dimensional forms, whether sculptural or spatial iterations of these mathematic marvels exists, as they
are often romanticized and vey rarely seen as a ‘functional’.


Functional Ornament serves to contradict this notion, wherein geometrical explorations serve to question and challenge the functionalism of these
patterns. A series of paper models explore the potential of these ornate geometric compositions to structure and function as mundane house-hold objects, furthermore a fourth object begins to explore the possibilities of breaking these pure patterns as a celebration of their multi-faceted
potential. It is a derivation of principles innately present in these geometries but expressing a three-dimensional form, bridging a perception of an ornament into a functional object.

The result of this exploration is aided by paper folding and digital fabrication techniques, wherein unfolded patterns are cut on a two-dimensional plane, folded and notched to create a structured object. 

Ornaments furthermore capitalize on this technique by suggesting an ephemeral aspect, in which they can be disassembled and flattened to their two-dimensional elements and reassembled multiple times, rendering themselves as highly ‘functional’.

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