Grid Method Classification

of Islamic Geometric Patterns


Ahmad M. Aljamali and Ebad Banissi

Visualisation and Graphics Research Unit

Department of Computing, Information Systems & Mathematics

South Bank University.London.      




This paper proposes a rational classification of Islamic Geometric Patterns (IGP) based on the Minimum Number of Grids (MNG) and Lowest Geometric Shape (LGS) used in the construction of the symmetric elements. The existing classification of repeating patterns by their symmetric groups is in many cases not appropriate or prudent [Joy97].  The symmetry group theories do not relate to the way of thinking of the artisans involved, and completely has ignored the attributes of the unit pattern and has focused exclusively on arrangement formats.  The paper considers the current symmetric group theories only as arrangement patterns and not as classifications of IGP since they have a “global approach” and have failed to explore the possibilities in the construction   elements of IGP.  The Star, a central Rosette, which is the most important element of IGP, forms the core of our study. The paper proposes new nomenclature to be used in the description of the unit pattern based on the MNG and LGS used in the construction of a Star/Rosette pattern that can be used to achieve the final design. We describe and demonstrate procedures for constructing Star/Rosette unit patterns based on our proposed classification in a grid formation dictated by the final design of the unit pattern.


Keywords: - IGP, MNG, LGS, Grid, Classification, Group Theory, Star/Rosette.