Calligraphic Architecture: stroke to form, space and surface


This design research explores the connection between two rather diverse art forms; Architecture and Arabic Calligraphy. From the intricate art and science behind designing buildings to the decorative inscriptions of one of the most historical calligraphic mediums in the Arab World, this article uses the work of Star architect Zaha Hadid as a vehicle to help visualize this relationship of Architecture and Arabic Calligraphy. Arabic calligraphy combines a cultural language with the language of geometry. The fluidity of Arabic script offers countless possibilities for designing calligraphic expressions varying its use from ornamental design to Architecture. This research focuses on how Arabic Calligraphy may have influenced the design process of Zaha Hadid allowing her to produce her fluid architectural designs. In return, this study would unfold onto creating new valid diagrammatic forms based on calligraphy. This personal exploration will begin with a simple Arabic calligraphy form and gradually through the use of sketches, paintings and 3D graphics will develop into a conceptual architectural form that can be seen as a space to be inhabited. There may not be a clear proven process of inspiration from calligraphy, but it’s something that definitely makes an apparent connection to Hadid’s works.


Arabic, Islamic Architecture, Digital Design, Drawing, Form Finding, 3D Design, Design Process, Architectural Concept, Arabic Calligraphy, Zaha Hadid

How to Cite

Haider, H., (2021) “Calligraphic Architecture: stroke to form, space and surface”, Fields: journal of Huddersfield student research 7(1). doi:







Hammad Haider (University of Huddersfield)





Creative Commons Attribution 4.0


Peer Review

This article has been peer reviewed.

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