From Manual to Hybrid, Parametric Mashrabiya: Digital Workflow for the Re-envisioning and Conservation of Eastern Architectural Screens and the Engagement of Digital Tectonics

By Nehal Almerbati, Dustin Headley, Peter Ford and Ahmed Taki.

Published by The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online March 31, 2016 Free Download

This research seeks to bridge the gap between traditional artisans and emerging digital craftsmen generated by the Arts and Crafts movement of the late nineteenth century and the third Industrial Revolution now underway via material culturalism as outlined by Grier. Mashrabiya, an Eastern patterned screen, represents an architectural construction that is rooted in cultural and functional parameters, but whose craftsmen have become essentially extinct due to industrialization. In looking at the preservation and redesign of this archetype, the digital tectonic becomes a powerful agent in reconciling tradition with contemporary manufacturing via 3D printing. The authors are exploring the cultural foundations of the Mashrabiya in order to understand how these act as measurable parameters in the re-envisioning of the construction. This paper presents the background, relevant work, and the workflow for the first array of 3D-printed Mashrabiya, exploring their viability and re-insertion into architecture.

Keywords: Mashrabiya, Culture, Craft, 3D Printing, Parametric Architecture, Heritage Conservation.

The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design, Volume 10, Issue 2, June, 2016, pp.29-39. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online March 31, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 969.623KB)).

Dr. Nehal Almerbati

PhD Candidate, School of Design, De Montfort University, Leicester, Leicestershire, UK

Dustin Headley

Assistant Professor, Interior Architecture and Product Design, Kansas State University, Kansas, USA

Prof. Peter Ford

Professor, Design Unit Department of Product and Spatial Design, De Montfort University, Leicester, Leicestershire, UK

Dr. Ahmed Taki

Associate Head of School of Architecture, Principal Lecturer, School of Architecture, De Montfort University, Leicester, Leicestershire, UK