The House of Wisdom

Islamic Golden Age interactive painting
                Our modern history derived mostly from the viewpoint of the western world, which means other perspectives struggle to be represented accurately. One of these stories is that of Islam and Muslims. In addition to the lack of representation in history, the advent of 9-11 and the recent rise of radical Islam had further pushed the discourse presented by the western media that we are barbarous and incompatible with the modern world. The irony is that, between the time of the Greeks and the Renaissance period, lies the forgotten era of the Islamic Golden Age. It was during this time that the great scholars of the Islamic world gathered together beneath the dome of the House of Wisdom to research, adapt, and build upon the foundation of Greek knowledge. From here, the foundation of our modern, western society fixed its roots.

House of Wisdom is an interactive painting project that narrates the forgotten story of the Islamic Golden Age. It provides an alternative narrative of Islam and Muslims that challenges the status quo that Muslims and Islam are incompatible with the modern world. This is achieved by showing the less well-known, yet critical contributions of the Islamic golden age that shape our contemporary world. The project is divided into two parts: the painting and the hidden animated narrative. In order to see the hidden stories, the audience must download the application Artivive on your phone and try to ‘scan’ the painting in order to discover the forgotten stories of the Islamic Golden Age.

For full-resolution image, please click here

CommDe Senior project
Class of 2020

Application’s QR Code

The House of Wisdom was established by the two great Caliphs, Harun Al-Rashid and Al-Ma’mun, who sponsored its construction and the translation movement.

Scholars work together to translate ancient knowledge of the Greeks and other ancient civilizations into a common language, Arabic.

This knowledge is then read, fixed, and adapted, resulting in new contributions that has impacted our modern world, Like Jabir ibn Hayyan (left), father of chemistry, and Al-Khwarizmi (right), who invented modern algebra. (Scannable with Artivive)

Al-Zahrawi (right), the father of surgery, who invented many surgical Instruments that are still used in modern surgery today. (Scannable with Artivive)

Al-Haytham (left), who figured out how light travels. Ibn-Sina (middle), who lay the foundation for modern medicine and Ibn-Rushd (right), the father of western philosophy. (Scannable with Artivive)