Visuelle Kommunikation / INTERNATIONAL MASTER OF DESIGN UIC / HGK FHNW
The Prayer Mat
Reinterpreting Ritual Aesthetics
As a part of their daily rituals, Muslims perform their prayers five times every day using a “prayer mat”. Acting as a portable mosque, a prayer mat offers a clean and sanctified space in both a material and a representational form. The fact that prayer mats look like old-fashioned, outdated objects, helped create a distance between the new generation, the object and what it represents. In the past few years there have been various attempts to revamp this object, though none of them addresses its visual motifs and their semiotic readings. This thesis proposes to revisit existing assumptions concerning what is frowned up, employing research to encourage debate while remaining respectful of the religion. How do we interpret the traditional and introduce change without dislocating values? How does the prayer mat respond to the continuous change of the world?