Islamic Architecture: Light and Darkness Unveiled with Tiago Neiva - Context Travel

Islamic Architecture: Light and Darkness Unveiled with Tiago Neiva


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Light has always been one of the most precious references for architectural practice, both as an inspirational symbol and as a material substance. Beyond its purely aesthetic role, the light also has the ability to formally set the experiences and occupations adapted to certain buildings, creating different perceptions, contrasts, boundaries, hierarchies, and rhythms. In both cases, it models and transforms the way in which we live and how we understand and perpetuate this experience, becoming an exceptionally important element in the design, construction, and enjoyment of space.

“I would say these are among the most interesting webinars on art and history available right now.”

This conversation focuses on light and its role, particularly in Arab-Islamic culture. Its unique part as a prismatic element allows a transversal intersection of art, science, literature, philosophy, and religion. Within the context of Arab-Islamic civilization and the framework of the heritage and legacy of al-Andalus (the medieval Islamic Iberian Peninsula), this seminar will examine the dialogical relations between light and the architectonic space, recognizing that between the balance of tension, contrast, intersection, or nearness, each element is a source and a path toward the (re)configuration of the other.

“He goes below the surface. Very informative and thorough.”

Led by an expert on Architecture and Art History, Tiago Miranda Neiva, this interactive seminar will explore the multiple roles of light in Islamic culture, the main concepts of the Islamic architecture, and finally, the impact of those spatial and luminous typologies on contemporary Islamic architecture. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a better understanding of Islamic architecture and the use of light to maintain, transform, or modify its forms, contents, and meanings.

Tiago Miranda Neiva was born and raised in Lisbon. For several years he was Professor of Arts and Art History, having a Master's degree in Teaching of Visual Arts. He is currently working towards a PhD focused on the Art and Architecture of al-Andalus: the confluence between the Arab, Jewish and Christian medieval world. In recent years he has been working as a tour guide in his hometown, seeking to show and reveal its most intimate secrets through an authentic and passionate local vision.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.