Sunday, September 16, 2012


Screen, Mesh, Trellis, Latticework ... there are many words to choose from.  Wikipedia gives at least 10 alternate spellings for Mashrabiya.  And there are overlapping ideas involved:  porosity, privacy, sun-filter, air-flow.  Perhaps it's all about ambiguity.

Any architect who has worked in the Middle East has tried to reinvent the lattice at some point, find a fresh interpretation, out-brize-soleil le corbusier.  So the question arises, "how to adapt the mashrabiya to an adaptive curtain panel".


Curtain panels by pattern are by definition adaptive.  They fit themselves to the shape available.  Actually even conventional curtain panel families do this, but only within the constraints of a planar rectangle.  Panels by pattern have to adapt to all manner of distortions including twisting.  The approach to creating geometry is therefore quite different.

Take a square grid.  You can host points on the 4 ref lines that define the boundaries.  Positioning these at 0.7 & 0.3 will approximate an octagon.  Join Points in pairs.  Spline by point.  You can develop a simple mesh that bends and twists to fit curved surfaces.

Then play with the geometry, maybe introduce some curves by connecting 3 points.

Nothing very spectacular, but you have to start somewhere.



  1. A source of inspiration...

  2. Thanks for the link. It's a bit of a challenge to make these arab geometries adaptive ... just why is that ? It's an interesting question.

  3. Yo Andy, have you played with Grasshopper yet?

  4. Sadly no. Don't have Rhino and to be honest don't have time to become fluent in all the applications I do have. But I can see that grasshopper opens up lots of possibilities. Started to play with Dynamo which is the beginnings of applying a similar visual programming approach to Revit. Haven't produced anything worth sharing yet.

    Thanks for the links guys. Very interesting.


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