Mohammad Qayoumi without a doubt has more than one string to his fiddle. Having degrees in Electrical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Business Administration and a career with over 37 years of engineering and administrative work experience meanwhile publishing 8 books and hundreds of articles and being members and chairs to many groups and organizations, he chose a topic that seemed far from all mentioned in his bio: “An Overview of Islamic and Western Art & Architecture”. He surely did a great job.
He started off with examples of Islamic architecture belonging to different periods of time and different cultures. Since Islamic art does not allow illustrations of God’s creatures, mostly geometric shapes are used in Islamic art. These shapes combined with each other formed new geometric shapes When Islamic art is inspected, it is noticed that Fibonacci numbers were used and Golden Ratio was present.
Next were romanesque, gothic, and baroque architecture examples from western civilizations. One of the most interesting examples was St. Paul’s Cathedral which had double domes for support inside and majestic look outside. The two domes are separated by a cone over the top of the inner which helps support the outer. He also mentioned that Florence Cathedral had stayed without a dome until Brunelleschi came up with double dome design. One of the examples was Hagia Sophia, an ancient domed church converted into a mosque during Ottoman Empire and is now a museum.
Finally he talked about different stages of art and examples of artists and their arts, including from Baroque to Impressionism, from Realism to Surrealism, and from Cubism to Pop Art.
This event took place on December 5, 2014 in Sunnyvale, CA. Below are some pictures from Dr.Qayoumi’s talk.