Spanish weekend: Geometry and design in Moorish Spain

Course Dates: 04/08/18
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: Andrew McGettigan

Explore geometry as an art form. Construct the designs found in the Alhambra (Granada) using ruler and compass.


What is the course about?

This one-day course will use ruler and compass to recreate the designs used to decorate the Alhambra palace, the home of the Nasrid dynasty, the last Islamic rulers in Iberia. It is an ideal follow-on course from HP108 Euclidean geometry. If you have not attended this course, you need to be familiar with the ruler and compass techniques covered in it.

What will we cover?

• how to create designs that can be used to tile a flat surface;
• the basic shapes (polygons) used in Nasrid tile and plasterwork;
• building up more complex designs from basic forms.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Construct your own polygonal grids
• Recreate the fundamental shapes using straightedge and compass
• Reproduce some more complicated designs from the Alhambra
• Apply Islamic techniques and ideas to your own designs.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is a drawing-led course. You should be familiar with the ruler and compass techniques taught on HP108 Euclidean Geometry.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The sessions will focus on practical drawing. There is no required reading but a free coursebook in Euclidean Geometry and ruler and compass techniques co-written by the course tutor is available online. It comes with a set of interactive resources for use in Geogebra, which is also freely available.

You can download the free coursebook and resources here:
Geogebra is available here:

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There are no additional costs. You will need to bring a suitable straightedge (ruler) and pair of compasses. You will also need pens and pencils with which to draw. We suggest that your straightedge should be a minimum of 30cms and you will need a standard sized compass - a Rotring Universal Compass is a good choice, though other makes are available.
Paper will be provided. If you prefer to use your own pad, then you should have A3 as a minimum.
You may find tracing paper and coloured pens are also useful - though they are not essential.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

In spring 2018, we will be offering a course in Symmetry (HP096 The symmetry of things) that will develop some aspects of this course.

General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Book your place

Course Code: HP115

Sat, day, 04 Aug - 04 Aug '18

Duration: 1 session

Full fee: £49.00
Senior fee: £39.00
Concession: £25.00
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Or call to enrol: 222-66-889-99

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Any questions? [email protected]
or call 020 7492 2652

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Please note: Different fees may apply for international students. Read full guidance.