In my twenties I discovered an appreciation for Islamic architecture. I am particularly fond of the Mughal mosques and mausoleums of the Indian subcontinent made famous by the Taj Mahal in Agra. The ornate simplicity is astonishing: the immaculate symmetry and balance; the marriage of the curved and the vertical; the purposeful repetition of design.
My favourite building of all is the sandstone Jama Masjid (Great Mosque) of Delhi. In the heart of this most teeming and complicated of cities, it provides a magnificent oasis of calm. On the two occasions I have viewed and visited the mosque, I have been granted a sense of clarity that offsets the chaos of the surrounding world.
Building simplicity is not easy; it takes great knowledge and skill. However, I like to imagine that one day my classroom and my teaching might replicate this effect in their own small way. I like to…
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