Introduction to Islamic Architecture

Amman, June 2 – 22, 2004

This course aimed at introducing the participants to the architecture and architectural ornament of the Islamic World, from Spain to India, between the seventh and twentieth centuries. The course material was discussed chronologically with an eye toward stylistic change, and thematically in order to emphasize the central concepts of Islamic architecture, including sacred space, palace culture, the question of figural representation, the role of geometry, and the centrality of calligraphy and ornament. This course provided a basic understanding of the historical evolution and regional variation of Islamic architecture and a deeper appreciation of its major themes and concepts.

The course was organized by CSBE in cooperation with The Royal Society of Fine Arts / The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts. It consisted of 45 hours of lectures and was conducted by Professor Yasser Tabbaa’. A number of lectures on contemporary artistic production, the architecture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the Umayyads were also given by Professor Wijdan Ali, Professor Mohammad al-Asad, and Professor Ghazi Bisheh.