Symbol, Pattern and Symmetry: The Cultural Significance of Structure investigates how pattern and symbol has functioned in visual arts, exploring how connections and comparisons in geometrical pattern can be made across different cultures and how the significance of these designs has influenced craft throughout history.
The book features illustrative examples of symbol and pattern from a wide range of historical and cultural contexts, from Byzantine, Persian and Assyrian design, to case studies of Japanese and Chinese patterns. Looking at each culture's specific craft style, Hann shows how the visual arts are underpinned with a strict geometric structure, and argues that understanding these underlying structures enables us to classify and compare data from across cultures and historical periods.
Richly illustrated with both colour and black and white images, and with clear, original commentary, the book enables students, practitioners, teachers and researchers to explore the historical and cultural significance of symbol and pattern in craft and design, ultimately displaying how a geometrical dialogue in design can be established through history and culture.
Michael Hann is Chair of Design Theory at the University of Leeds, UK and Director of the University of Leeds International Textiles Archive. He is the author of seven design and textile books, including Structure and Form in Design (Bloomsbury Academic, 2012), and has written extensively for numerous journals including the Journal of the Textiles Institute and Textiles Magazine.
Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Geometry and Culture Chapter 3: Cradles of Civilization and Initiators of Trade Chapter 4: Cultural Interaction and Exchange: the Importance of the Silk Route Chapter 5: Stupas, Mandalas and Nirvana: the Origin and Diffusion of Buddhism Chapter 6: Mosques, Minarets and Minbars: the Origin and Diffusion of Islam Chapter 7: From Syrian Umayyads to Christian Kings: Achievements in the Decorative Arts and Architecture in Islamic Spain Chapter 8: The Decorative Arts of Safavid Persia Chapter 9: The Decorative Arts of the Ottoman Empire Chapter 10: The Decorative Arts of the Mughal Dynasty Chapter 11: Visions from the East: Influences on European Decorative Arts Chapter 12: Cultural Diffusion, Adoption and Adaptation