Curating & Creating A Practical Approach for Contemporary Islamic Design Pedagogy and Practice

Alfahal, Tamadher (2019) Curating & Creating A Practical Approach for Contemporary Islamic Design Pedagogy and Practice. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

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Abstract

Faith and art practice in traditional Islam once had a profound cultural rapport within Islamic society that is lost today; art was used as an expressive tool for Islamic religious revelation, worship, and the contemplative remembrance of God. While some scholars acknowledge philosophical, cosmological and metaphysical dimensions forming the legacy of Islamic art, others argue that such “mystical” ideas do not have historical evidence. This polarity resulted in a wide spectrum of thoughts in contemporary Islamic pedagogies and practices, reflecting a continuous discourse between tradition and modernity.
This practice-led research investigates an alternative reading for traditional Islamic aesthetics that can respond to contemporary thoughts and practices, by reviewing literature that focuses on two main points:- a) the traditional Islamic philosophy that underpinned the creative decisions, and b) the contemporary practice and pedagogy of Islamic art. This was achieved by revisiting the concept of creativity in Islamic context; emphasising the ‘why’ instead of the ‘how’ and addressing how current artistic practice reflects religious and spiritual thoughts. The literature finding proposes an alternative approach in Islamic art pedagogy by adopting ‘design culture’ as a field that can help in broadening the understanding of Islamic aesthetics.
The methodological approach emphasises the notion of art-making as “thinking made visible”, by adopting multi-faceted artistic practice and processes including aspects such as “studio thinking”, “visual thinking”, and “tacit knowledge”. This was achieved through two case studies; one was in Tetouan, Morocco where the cultural context was more focused on skill-based knowledge. The other was in Bahrain; where the context was more oriented towards theoretical knowledge. With these various modes of knowing/thinking, the methodological approach adopts curatorial practice as a mode of assemblage and an enactment of research thinking/creating. It demonstrates a new understanding of curatorial practice as a disruptive form of knowledge that challenge and inform the practice and pedagogy of Islamic artistic expression. The research structure also aims at contributing to academic knowledge by using visuals and design language to expand the general understanding of how knowledge can be understood and communicated.
The research outcomes were demonstrated through different mediums such as reflective mind maps and visual explorations. This will be documented in the written thesis and an accompanying exhibition that will showcase the researcher’s creative process as a way to disseminate research knowledge.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Date: 2019
Subjects: T600 Modern Middle Eastern studies
V600 Theology and Religious studies
W100 Fine Art
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > School of Art
REF UoA Output Collections > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Kip Darling
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2020 07:40
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2020 09:27
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9563

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