Raised in the historic city of Isfahan, Mohammad Gharipour received
his Ph.D. in Architectural Theory and History from Georgia Institute of
Technology in 2008 and Masters of Architecture from the University of Tehran in
2000. He teaches architecture at Morgan State University and is the Director and Founding Editor of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture. His
areas of research include Japanese traditional and contemporary architecture,
Persianate gardens and architecture, and restorative environments. He is the
recipient of Spiro Kostof fellowship award from the Society of Architectural
Historians (SAH) in 2008 and the author of several publications including Persian Gardens and Pavilions: Reflections in
Poetry, Arts and History(I.B. Tauris, 2013). in 2014, Dr. Gharipour was presented with the National Endowment for Humanities Faculty Award for his research on Synagogues of Isfahan, Iran.
Koliji, Hooman. "Built on Light: The ‘Crafty’ Art of Geometric Patterned Windows." In International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Volume 4, Number 1 (pp. 75-108), edited by Mohammad Gharipour, Bristol: Intellect, 2014.
The exquisite coloured glass windows that were widely popular in seventeenth- to nineteenth-century Iran, known as orosi, suggest a multiplicity of readings at physical, perceptual and contemplative levels. Comprised of sophisticated geometric patterns known as girih, the window offers variegated light patterns to the interior while simultaneously connecting it to the outside garden. This paper investigates the layers of design thinking associated with orosi windows through a study of the following horizons: architecture, pattern, construction, spatial experience and interpretation. Thus, the orosi window as a construct will first be discussed in terms of layers, planes and overall structure. Subsequently, the paper examines the girih for its essential pattern design vocabulary, as well as with respect to the similarities and differences in stages of conceiving geometric patterns through drawing and production. This study of the spatial experience of orosi argues for the significant role played by the coloured geometric patterned window in negotiating its adjacent spaces. The simultaneous presence of abstract and naturalistic geometric patterns seen in both the window and the exterior garden expands the discussion of geometric patterns to the entirety of the edifice, landscape and beyond.