Unity Muqarnas

Spring 2012

Role: Designer, Engineer

Team: 2 Professors (Arts, Culture, and Technology and Architecture), 2 Students (Mechanical Engineering)

Skills: CAD, Sewing, Installation and Sculpture Design, Design for Manufacturing and Assembly

Tools: AutoCAD, Lasercutter, Sewing Machine

My team created two elements for the “Interior View Southeast: Explorations of Islamic Religious Spaces” exhibit at the Architecture Forum Upper-Austria.  

The first was a sewn half-dome of muqarnas, a decorative device in Islamic architecture.  We created a second element to engage visitors inside of the museum: a 'do-it-yourself' interactive paper muqarnas dome.

We needed a fabric that could be lasercut, would flow in a breeze, and that would maintain it's shape over the duration of the installation.  Additionally, the entire structure would need to collapse to be shipped to Austria and constructed onsite.  I constructed multiple prototypes out of paper and different fabrics to identify a fabric and a construction technique.  Our team sewed the entire muqarnas half-dome in Cambridge from over 100 individual pieces, and a local team assembled it onsite in Austria.

We created a second element to engage visitors inside of the museum: a 'do-it-yourself' interactive paper muqarnas dome.  I designed a foldable interpretation of a muqarnas element and lasercut them to be assembled by visitors onsite.

© 2020 Tara Pratap Ebsworth