GOOD

The First Woman Known to Design a Mosque

Zeynep Fadillioglu is Turkey’s interior design star.

Şakirin Mosque in Istanbul

Turkey is home to more than 82,600 mosques and they’re all designed by men—except one, the Şakirin mosque in Istanbul, co-created by 59-year old Turkish interior designer Zeynep Fadillioglu, perhaps the first woman ever to design a mosque. The mosque, the exterior of which was designed by architect Husrev Tayla, features a 130-foot diameter dome and iron and glass facades. Fadillioglu’s interior designs of the mosque reveal a significant awareness of the women’s spaces—in the Şakirin mosque, the women’s section equals the men’s in both size and ornamentation. “I positioned them on the upper balcony, because during prayer the women must be behind the men," she told CNN. "But I also decided to make the balcony level one of the most beautiful areas, with the chandelier crystal droplets just in front, and where you can see the mihrab [an alcove pointing towards Mecca] from the best angle." Fadillioglu also enlisted the skills of other woman artists, like Nahide Buyukkaymakci, whose blown-glass rain drops hang from the chandelier at the Şakirin mosque.


Since the Şakirin mosque opened in 2009, she’s helmed two other mosque design projects in Qatar, produced designs for sites in London and New York, and designed her own furniture line. This week, Fadillioglu spoke with designboom about her design philosophy and legacy as the first woman to design a mosque in Turkey. She says:

“The founding stones of my approach to any project remain the same: timelessness, open-mindedness, love of color, layers of textures, and architectural features. My work reflects a modern understanding of traditional values. Using my hometown Istanbul as the main part of my inspiration, in my designs I am trying to combine eastern and western aesthetics and embrace the rich heritage of the Ottomans to produce works that have a local feel and a universal appeal.”

Fadillioglu also tells designboom that being the first woman to design a mosque has exposed her to harsh and often gendered criticism. “I was criticized by some Turkish people who believed that they could have done better, and I believe were jealous that this project wasn’t commissioned to them,” she says. “The praise came from worshipers from all over the country, international visitors and the press from all around the world. Today, the ‘Şakirin mosque’ belongs to the ‘must sees’ of Istanbul.”

Read the rest of the interview here.

Articles
Screenshot via Sweden.se/Twitter (left) Wikimedia Commons (right)

Greta Thunberg has been dubbed the "Joan of Arc of climate change" for good reason. The 16-year-old activist embodies the courage and conviction of the unlikely underdog heroine, as well as the seemingly innate ability to lead a movement.

Thunberg has dedicated her young life to waking up the world to the climate crisis we face and cutting the crap that gets in the way of fixing it. Her speeches are a unique blend of calm rationality and no-holds-barred bluntness. She speaks truth to power, dispassionately and unflinchingly, and it is glorious.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less
Science

The disappearance of 40-year-old mortgage broker William Earl Moldt remained a mystery for 22 years because the technology used to find him hadn't been developed yet.

Moldt was reported missing on November 8, 1997. He had left a nightclub around 11 p.m. where he had been drinking. He wasn't known as a heavy drinker and witnesses at the bar said he didn't seem intoxicated when he left.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Gage Skidmore

The common stereotypes about liberals and conservatives are that liberals are bleeding hearts and conservatives are cold-hearted.

It makes sense, conservatives want limited government and to cut social programs that help the more vulnerable members of society. Whereas liberals don't mind paying a few more dollars in taxes to help the unfortunate.

A recent study out of Belgium scientifically supports the notion that people who scored lower on emotional ability tests tend to have right-wing and racist views.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics