Islamic Art
Introductory Course in Islamic Ornamentation and Calligraphy

“Know that the study of tactile and experiential geometry leads to skill in all practical arts, while the study of theoretical geometry leads to skill in the intellectual arts, for science (of geometry) is one of the gateways through which we move to knowledge of the essence of the soul, and this is the root of all knowledge.” (from the Rasa’il ca. 950 A.D. , translated by S. H. Nasr)

This intensive course will provide an introduction to geometric Islamic art. Starting with a theoretical awareness, practical exercises are also offered to learn the traditional art techniques of calligraphic writing and ornamentation. A special focus will be on the geometric alphabet script “Kufi” as well as on the practice of geometric patterns and shapes.

Time: Monday, April 3rd  – Friday, April 7th 2023

Location: Freudplatz 3, 1020 Vienna

Languages: German and English

Certification: Participants will receive a certificate at the end of the program.

Materials: Materials will be discussed in detail in advance.


  • Regular: € 379
  • Early Bird (for registration until 01.2023): € 299
  • Social fee discount for students available on request

Experts: Assist. Prof. Onur Şimşek, PhD & Serap Ekizler Sönmez, PhD

Online Briefing: 20. March 2023, 4:30 pm


The Writing and Calligraphy block includes: Lectures on the historical development of calligraphy and its importance in modern times, as well as the main types of Islamic calligraphy. The Practical part covers the individual letters; geometric principles of Kufi script compositions with focus on the square script.

The Ornamentation and Geometric Shapes block includes: The workshop will focus on four- and six-fold patterns, and it will be shown how these patterns will be constructed with traditional ruler-compass construction. Further the geometric system behind these patterns will be discussed and possibilities for new designs with kinship relations between patterns will be explored.

Serap Ekizler Sönmez, PhD studied chemistry at Marmara University in Istanbul and then became increasingly involved in the field of art. In addition to her master’s and doctoral degrees on Geometric Patterns in Turkish-Islamic Art and Architecture, she has been conducting workshops on national and international projects since 2003. She has published numerous publications including the three volume series on “Geometric Language of Seljuk Art in Anatolia”.

Dr. Techn. Mag. Arch. Onur Şimşek studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. After completing his PhD at Tu Wien, he accepted the invitation of Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakif University in Istanbul, where he has been conducting research on Islamic art and architecture and working as an architect with his office since 2014.

Registration form


Interdisciplinary Research Center
Islam and Muslims in Europe (IFIME)