Photo © 2017 CHOI+SHINE
Jin Choi and Thomas Shine
Shaw Welding (Boston)
Assembly Crew (Boston)
Installation Crew (Sharjah)
Al Majaz Amphitheater Stage Crew
Special Thanks to
His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi
His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed al Qasimi
Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival High Committee
Sharjah Art Museum
Tahira Kathleen Kobreek
Sharry Lee Gregory
Micaya Vance Clymer
Above: One of the pattern instructions showing the overall dimensions and sequence.
The Flying Mosque forms consist of hand crocheted fabric panels, each fastened to lightweight preformed structure to create the geometrical volumes.
The design development involved pattern development for the crochet and designing and fabricating the frame structures.
Once the design of each pattern was completed, the pattern was drawn in CAD to accurately incorporate the material’s dimension and method of crochet. The drawings were then distributed to the crocheters with the instructions and diagrams along with the crochet materials.
Making of the lace was a very important aspect of the project. Crocheters from throughout the US, Canada and the UK shared their questions and progress with photos and comments on a dedicated social media page. This quickly formed a strong community with members supporting each other with mutual interest and shared goal under a pressure from a highly restrictive time schedule.
Once the completed work from each volunteer was shipped to our studio in Boston, where the assembly work started. Hand stitching the lace pieces with Dyneema thread was a physically challenging work due to the size of crochet lace, while connecting hand crochet works from many different authors became a tricky puzzle.
Right: Photos from crocheters:
Patti Murphy, Anette hynes, Mariette Meijaard, Peihan Orestes, Mary tokumaru, Patty Foley
The assembled lace and the frames were shipped to Sharjah, while the nylon connectors were 3d printed in London and shipped directly to the site in Sharjah. The site, the Al Majaz Amphitheater, is on an artificial island in Sharjah. The support truss structure was installed on the helipad on the island for suspension of the artwork.
For the site assembly, the frames were first assembled with connectors on the ground. Then, the lace membrane was attached to the frames and hoisted up to the final height at the designated position. The panels and structure are suspended with cables which are fasten to secure structural anchors holding the forms in place.
The hand crocheted fabric shells are constructed of marine grade double braided polyester cord, illuminated by multiple spot lights, creating an evenly lit, glowing structure.
A typical individual geometric form from the Flying Mosque is only a meter or two wide, but the collective arrangement of the work occupies an area of 10m x 30m.