Calendar of Events

Thu 03.31.2016

Decoding the Road: Computational Tessellation of Central Asian Architecture


When: 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM THURSDAY, MARCH 31

Where: At The Center   

Central Eurasia, Inner Asia, Transoxiana, the “silk road”, or simply the ‘stans, whatever you choose to call it, Central Asia evokes a certain image of camels laboring over expansive roads, mountain passes, and oasis cities. What is often left out of the conversation is the period of enlightenment and progress that was forged in the geographic region from the time of the Arab Conquest to the rule of Tamerlane. This period is marked by polymaths and individual thinkers who went on to make significant contributions to not one, but many different fields of study. With this in mind, Lauren Connell and Alexis Burson, architects, teamed with Baris Yuksel, a senior computer engineer, and traveled to Central Asia with funding from the LeBrun Travel Grant to study pervasive tile patterns in monumental Central Asian architecture. 

Over the course of six weeks, they studied and documented Islamic geometric patterns and tile-work along the silk road, with the goal of exploring the link between the major entrepôts of this journey and the evolution of the art of tile-work as it passed from China to the Mediterranean. 
Upon return, they have been working on ways to digitize the workflows of these ancient craftsmen in the hopes of making a tool for the modern day architect, or even discovering something brand new. With Yuksel's coding expertise, the project is evolving into its next stage. Eventually the team will be able to create large datasets of patterns that can answer questions about the inherent beauty and complexity of these timeless designs.

Cities Visited: Istanbul, Turkey; Cappadocia, Turkey; Moscow, Russia, Kazan, Russia; Khiva, Uzbekistan; Bukhara, Uzbekistan; Samarkand, Uzbekistan; Shahrisabz, Uzbekistan; Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Turkistan, Kazakhstan; Almaty, Kazakhstan; Astana, Kazakhstan; Baku, Azerbaijan

Lauren Connell, Architect, BIG -- Bjarke Ingels Group
Baris Yuksel, Senior Engineer, Google
Alexis Burson, Associate, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners
Instagram: @projectagama
Organized by: Center for Architecture
Price: Free for AIA members, $10 for non-members


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