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Here, there is an opportunity for considering the Persian carpet design- one of fundamental elements of carpet art and industry - from another viewpoint and with the aim of elaborating the research practices in the field of carpet. This design, inspired by amazing universe, in zenith of completeness, is such a beautiful and vivid masterpiece that it seems it is speaking about the power of Almighty and human is capable to create such an artwork just due to divine soul that has been granted to his/her body. If we look the world around ourselves we would recognize man-made artworks which present themselves in a special way and because human inherently likes the beauty, tries to make beautiful artworks in his living environment. This endeavor includes religious life too.Â Original Persian carpet designs carry elements that have both spiritual and physical aesthetic features. These designs have been created by talented Persian artists and implemented on well-known Persian carpets. They make an encyclopedia of universal beautiful designs with a vast verity in thoughts and ideas of those who were familiar with carpet from many in the history from those carpets which were made from leaves to pretty carpets that made by silk and mentioned in One Thousand and One Night Stories.
Carpet designs and drawings not only are from among ornamental aspects of houses and halls but also narrate national and heroic tales about art, culture, traditions and customs of a region. Generally speaking, design and graphic features of a carpet are its language and without that the carpet will die. First the human being painted on caves' walls, then on its handiworks such as potteries, tools and also carpets and rugs. In this way he/she immersed him/herself in the sea of design and paintings, a world full of different designs and colors.
The art of carpet weaving is from among those arts that have come to perfection over the time and Persian artist talent has found an opportunity to present itself in that art. The cause of this prosperity and excellence in addition to the Persian intrinsic properties such as being art-lover and patient is the abundance of raw materials for carpet weaving such as high-quality wools and variety of colorful plants. Carpet is regarded as a manifestation of human thought and ideas.Â
Persian carpet design over the time
Talent and artistic creativity in every community origin from living traditions and historical and environmental background of that community and often it present itself in form of talent and skill in a particular field The art of carpet weaving is from among those arts that have come to perfection over the time and Persian artist talent has found an opportunity to present itself in that art. The cause of this prosperity and excellence in addition to the Persian intrinsic properties such as being art-lover and patient is the abundance of raw materials for carpet weaving such as high-quality wools and variety of colorful plants. Carpet as a manifestation of human thought and ideas has faced ups and downs in its history.
Persian carpet design and drawings
Generally we can divide the Persian carpet and put it in two groups based on its design and drawing: geometric-designed carpets and curve-designed carpets which known as flower-designed carpets.
All carpets in this group are characterized by horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines in different sizes and repetitive draws throughout the carpet which decorate it. These carpets are woven by nomads, each of them has its special design and motifs. One important method to recognize the weaver nomad and origin of a carpet is considering these designs and drawings.
* Curved design
A prominent feature of Persian carpet is its complex and symbolic drawings. They always caused the admiration of professionals and art lovers all around the world. Many believe that the design of Persian carpets, unlike what is thought to be, isn't symbolic; it rather reflects the sense of affinity that every Persian feels about his/her environment and nature drawings.
Nature has been the biggest source of inspiration for carpet designers and sometimes some designers have inserted designs of other cultures such as China and Saudi Arabia in their artwoks. Carpet design in Iran has several hundred years' history and it has been implemented with designs that were close to the nature: trees, flowers, birds, and clouds. These designs passed through generations and gradually become simplified and abstract while it added more complexity of the designs at the same time.
One of main styles in Persian carpet, especially in the larger types is an oval or sometimes diamond design plan called Lachaky in the center of the carpet. In this style drawings are put inside or around the oval. This design is called Toranj (bergamot) .
Over the years, art scholars, carpet experts and fine art professionals have tried to classify persian carpet designs and drawings and they could put them in 17 different classes each of them has its own derivatives.
These 17 categories are as follow:
1. Ancient monument style:
In this style designs are being inspired by tile works and structure and geometric design of buildings. There are several derivatives for this style such as "Persepolis", "Taq-e Bostan", Taq-e-kasra (Ivan-e- Madaen) and newer one which is called "Zir khaki".
2. Shah Abbasi style:
Shah Abbas Safavi is one of influential figures in Persian art. Shah Abbas style is known by its large lily flower drawing which is called Shah Abbas flowers. This style was one of shah Abbas favorite styles. In these carpets Shah Abbas flowers accompanied with leaves and flowers. Derivatives of this style are Include: Sheikh Safi, tree, animal, decorated Shah Abbasi and Toranj Lachak.
3.Arabesque or spiral style:
The main elements of this style are spiral branches which are surrounded by flowers and leaves and its ramifications are terminated in Arabesque designs.
The most famous Arabesque styles are dragon mouth Arabesques. In this type of Arabesque the end of each branch splits in two symmetrical ramifications and being shown as dragon mouth. There is some sprout on the stems and branches which are ornamental. These buds are called the Slim.
Perhaps the word "Slimi" (Arabesque) comes from "Slim" which means bud or maybe it is the reduced form of word "Islamic".Â We know that the Islamic Arts have used this style frequently. This style has numerous derivatives due to frequent changes and manipulations. Some of them are as follow: Arabesque, Band Arabesque, broken Arabesque, Dragon mouth Arabesque, Toranj Lachak Arabesque, Toranj Arabesque and Serpent Arabesque.
4.Â Afshan Style
This style usually follows same pattern (flower or bird) in which the elements are interconnected.Â Â The designer's pen remains on paper during Afsan projection from beginning to end and there is no cross connection in this style.
The only place where the horns and leaves are scattered there is an open area. Khtayy-e-afshan, Dast-e-gole-eafshan and Toranj-e-afshan are among its derivatives.
Some of these styles are similar to those being woven in areas near Iran's borders and sometimes they are known by their names. Many researches show that some of them are originally Persian and being copied by Iran's neighbors.Â . Some of its famous derivatives are include Afghan design, Caucasian design and Gublen design.
6.Band style (stripped)
When there is a repetition for small sections of a design and it makes a continuous design in carpet's length and width, it would be called Bans style. There are different derivatives for this style: Mostofi Band, broken Band, Katibe Band, Varamin Band, tree Band, Majlesi,Â Bakhtiari Band and Keshti (adobe) Band.
7. Plant style:
The base of this style is the bent pine motif bent (bush) which is one of oldest Persian and Indian styles. This style has different designs and drawings in Iran's carpet. Some of famous derivatives are include: bush (plant), Jeqe (crown), Sarabandi plant, Kherqeyee plant, Isfahan Ghalamdan plant, Sanandaj plant and Afshari plant.
Although the use of simple and abstract branches is very common in Persian carpet design, tree drawings are distinguished due to their similarity to natural forms. We can mention tree and animal, vase tree and willow tree among from its famous designs.
9. Hunting style:
Just like Tree style, the animals in this style are depicted too close to the natural forms. Its derivative designs are as follow: Diamond hunting, Lachki hunting, and Afshan hunting.
10.Frame or adobe style:
This style is based on using multiple frames in which each frame has its independent image. This image can be repetitive or single.Â Its derivative designs are as follow:Â spiral adobe and column adobe.
11.Golfarang style (European flowers):
This style is combination of some designs with original Persian drawings. There was red flowers with light and dark colors in it and later it was known as French or European style due to its nature-oriented style. Bijar Flowers, Mostofi flowers, adobe flowers, bouquet of flowers and chicken & flowers are among its famous derivatives named.
12.Turkmen or Bukhara:
The style of Turkmen carpets with regard to broken lines and geometric features classified as nomadic specific styles. These carpets are woven by heart without any map. Frame Yamuny Turkmen, Turkmen Comb, Turkmen Ghazal Gaz (deer eye), okhal Turkmen, four-frames Turkmen, Khorjin Turkmen and spoon Turkmen are derivatives of this style.
This style uses pots in different sizes. In some cases a big pot fills all the carpet's area or it filled by repetitive small pots. This style has numerous derivatives; some of them are as follow: Khatayee pot, double-sided pot, Mehrabi pot, Afshan pot, Haji khanom pot, Lachak Toranji pot.
14.Blended fish style:
Although this style has been elaborated by nowadays designers, its original design has been made by nomads. It was woven in Birjand city for the first time and soon it became popular so it was used in distant locations like Hamedan and Azerbaijan. Every new location added its own features and styles. Fish style has a wide variety and Kurdistan fish, small fish and Farahan fish are examples of its derivatives.
15.Mehrabi or Sajjadeyee style:
This style has a simple background with columns or candlesticks on two sides that plant and flowers drawings fill between them. Its derivative designs are as follow: Mehrabi with pots and columns, Mehrab and landscape, Mehrab and candlestick.
It refers to a design with bands that run alongside of the carpet and every band has its own drawings and colors. It is called Ghalamdani style in some parts of Iran and Ghalamdani Afshan, small flowers (with mono-colored background) and bushes (with multicolored background.)
Beside original styles, they combined over the time and have made composite or combined styles by combining two or more styles.
The proposition of this project is related to founding an agency for introducing and supplying handmade carpets and other Persian fine arts.
Institutionalization of such an agency follows below mentioned objectives:
- Lebanon people are interested in Persian handmade carpets and despite the fact that there are many other handmade carpets with different nationalities like Turkish and Caucasian, they prefer Persian carpets.
- Increase in common knowledge about different stages for weaving a carpet (design, mapping, coloring and etc.) and introducing them.
- Lack of such agency
Here, there is an opportunity for considering the Persian carpet design- one of fundamental elements of carpet art and industry - from another viewpoint and with the aim of elaborating the research practices in the field of carpet. In this paper we tried to use Persian traditional design and combine it with modern design principles to present a new approach toward Persian carpet. Traditional design includes drawing and depictions that reflect culture, customs and common traditions in a society. This design changes over the time and along with changes in above mentioned items, but it keeps its old traditions. In the next section introduce Persian architecture styles:
Khorasan style has been the first Islamic architecture style and it is called khorasan because the constructing the first monuments has been there. This style combines Arabic masques architecture with Persian buildings (Part dynasty) which has a simple architecture (without decorations).
Khorasan style features:
- Rectangular plan
- Amphitheater-like or forty-pillar architecture
- Simplicity and lack of decoration
- Adobe and brick as primary materials
- Lack of outer layer for decoration or sometimes thatch
- Using isolated single minaret with circular profile in north side.
- Oval, egg-like and Nari arcs.
In this style the masque plan is Arabic but the building is Persian.
It is the 2nd Islamic architecture style in Iran and since the first buildings of this kind has been founded in Rey city it is called Razi (of the Rey) style. The omissions of amphitheater and its pillars, using patio, dome with four patios are some of main modifications in this style. The most important and most varied Persian architecture style is Razi style.
Razi style features:
- Rectangular plan
- Patio space
- Brick as primary material
- Patio with square plan
- Zigzag vaults
- Dome and its auxiliaries which are founded on the backside of south patio
- Double minaret on the south patio
- Decoration (tore, bricking, knotting, adobe tile)
Dome bar: Persian architecture masterpiece in the world
Gonbad-e-kawoos is the tallest brick tower in the world that attracts many tourists every year and invites them to observe the majesty of original and historic architecture of Iran.Â This tower has two parts: foundation (body) and conic dome. The foundation of this tower is on a hard surface and it rises up to 15 meters just by using bricks and similar materials.
The cylindrical outer body of this tower has 15 cracks (90 degree jags) which is similar to a 10-angle star. These cracks have same distances and start from the foundation and rise up to the conic dome. The gaps between these cracks are filled with bricks. Experts believe that the height for a building is meaningful just when it dominates the vicinity and it conveys the feeling of tallness with regard to aesthetic aspects. By such a definition the Gonbad-e-kawoos is the tallest brick building in the world since it dominates both mid-Asian plates and Caspian Sea with 400 meters below ocean level height.
This style is called Azeri since first buildings by this style have been made in Tabriz.
Azeri style features:
It can be divided to two derivatives:
a.Azeri style belonging to Ilkhani dynasty with Tabriz as capital city and below features:
- Huge buildings
- Attention to vertical proportions in building
- Rectangular patio
- Various patios
- Decoration with tore, gold-covered tails and prominent tails.
b.Azeri style belonging to Teymuri dynasty with Samarqand as capital city and below features:
- Using stem (bottleneck) between dome space and below space
- Using heterogeneous surfaces in whole building
- Using curved tails (mosaic work)
It is called Isfahan style since first buildings with this style were made in Isfahan.Â
Isfahan style features (most decorated Persian style)
- Simple diagonal and rectangular paln
- Patio plan
- Desirable and tough materials
- Decoration with adobe tile, seven-colored, craving, Yazdi designs and formal designs.
Parse or Persepolis is the name of one of Iran's famous ancient cities which has been Persian kingdom in ancient times.
The total area of Persepolis is 125000 m2. It has been constructed on a platform with 8 to 18 meters height to the Marvdasht plateau. The main parts of Persepolis are as follow:
- Persepolis formal and ceremonial palaces (nation gates palace)
- Living space and exclusive small palaces
- Royal treasury
- Security and castles and fortifications
Its total area is about 46000 m2 and its roof was held by 14-meters pillars.
Falak-ol-aflak castle; the world's greatest architecture masterpiece
The beauty and wonderful architecture of Falak-ol-aflak historical castle in Luristan caused many experts regard it as one of world's greatest engineering and architecture masterpieces. The height of tallest wall in this majestic and huge castle from hill level in 5.22 m and its total area is 5300 m2 with irregular octagonal plan. The gates of this castles are made in north side and southwest tower with 3 m height and 10.2 m width. This castle is made by adobe, brick (big and red), stone and mortar.
An interesting point about this unique monument is that there is a well with 42 m depth in first yard and emergency exit in second yard.Â
Carpet weaving is an art which has been completed over the time in this land and Persian talent is deeply reflected in it. On one hand the cause of this prosperity and growth roots in inherent Persian properties like artistic sense and patient and on the other hand it originates from abundance of primary materials for carpet production like desirable wools and different colorful plants.Â
Promotion and propagation of Persian culture and civilization (specially old and precious art of carpet weaving), introducing its designs to other designers and artists in this land and reviving golden combinations of previous Persian works are among main objectives of this project. It may be banned the other countries like china, India and Pakistan from coping our designs and styles.
In new era, beside political and cultural relations, economic and trade have critical role in Asia and rich Middle East countries and their private sections.
Within past 22 years, our government has adopted an approach to strengthen and develop its economic relations with Asian countries specially Lebanon with regard to economic development principles. Persian hand-made carpet industry is one of suitable frameworks for investment in increase in Iran-Lebanon relations. This industry has kept its statue in Lebanon and the volume of annual Persian carpet export to this country is about 10 million dollars. Most Lebanon people are engaged in trades and Lebanon businessmen put high value on trade with other countries. Now many people there buy Persian goods (especially hand-made carpet) and export them to African countries or even Canada and Latin America annually.
Annual GDP of Lebanon is about 25 million dollars which mainly comes from direct taxes for industry, services, Tourism and hotels and banking. It can be said that Persian art (Persian hand-made carpet) caused tourist attraction and have increased Iran-Lebanon trade relations.
Carpet production regarded as one of influential factors in economic development due to entrepreneurship and the other causes. This field provides wide range of occupations and income source by cotton/ wool production, carpet design, coloring, weaving, repairing and national/international trade for many people. In past 20 years, Iran foreign ministry and Iran embassy in Beirut have started to introduce Iran's export capabilities in different fields to Lebanon society and facilitated trade agency opening in both countries.
This 370 m2 agency has been constructed with four floor building. First floor allocated to car parking. Second floor allocated to introduction and exhibiting full collection of different Persian carpets and fine arts. Third floor has two a sections: one section for presenting different famous types of Persian carpets which itself is divided to two other parts: carpets with modern styles and designs and carpets with classic styles. The other section is a restaurant with delicious Persian and Lebanon dishes.Â Sale office locates in this floor. In last floor visitors observe different stages for carpet weaving; from row materials to weaving process (design, carpet map. . .). they can repair their carpets here too.
General properties of this project
This project will be implemented in Verden area in the center of Beirut. There is one of most important trade and tourist center in this area which is located in Main Street - one of most crowded streets in Beirut.
Residents in this area have very high economic and social level so they can buy these precious goods.
With regard to location, this building dominates a main street and an alley. This unique feature distinguished it from other buildings.