Fibonacci’s Mashrabiya

Fibonacci’s Mashrabiya

By Neri Oxman
2009, CNC milled zcrylic
Museum of Science, Boston

Prototype for an Environmental Screen, 2009-2011
In collaboration with Prof. W. Craig Carter (MIT) 

The Mashrabiya is an archetype of ancient Arabic architecture denoting an oriel screen-wall or window made of latticework. It functions as a social barrier and an environmental filter. By modulating the size, thickness, density and overall organization of the pattern, different environmental effects can be achieved such as controlling the orientation of light or the movement of air. This work reinterprets the ancient art of Mashrabiya design through the lens of digital fabrication technologies. Inspired by fractal patterns found in Nature (such as the Fibonacci series), this screen wall “shapes” the form of the environment by creating a spiraling vortex of light and air. The design generation process results in different textural forms depending on the desired microclimate in a specific environmental context.

Exhibited at the Musuem of Science, Boston and at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC. 

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