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Digital Prayer Carpet
Jamais Cascio, 21 Jul 05

sajjadah1426.jpgI like this piece of functional art not because it's something that I would use myself, but because it's a lovely demonstration of what is possible with an increasingly smart material environment.

Artist Soner Ozenc has created a prayer rug for Muslims with an embedded digital compass and electroluminescent wiring. The image on the rug glows brighter as the rug is turned towards Mecca, dimmer as it turns away. The project is called Sajjadah 1426 -- Sajjadah being the Turkish word for "prayer rug" and 1426 being this year in the Muslim calendar. (Onzec's site is entirely Flash based; to see the images and his discussion of the rug, click Product Design and then Sajjadah 1426.)

This is an early example of the coming proliferation of situationally-aware material items, goods which can recognize where they are, what else around them is relevant to their use, and whether they are being used correctly. More examples are certainly to come.

(Via Gizmodo)

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Comments

what i like best about this work is that it introduces high tech into religious activities. i'd like to see more of them. just have to be patient!


Posted by: regine on 21 Jul 05

That's pretty cool.

I am totally ignorant when it comes to Islam but... isn't representational art (like the mosque on that rug) a no-no? Maybe that doesn't apply to prayer rugs.

Just curious.


Posted by: Jesse on 22 Jul 05

I believe the traditional injunction against representational art concerns images of people.


Posted by: Jamais Cascio on 22 Jul 05

I'm no expert but long ago the history channel told me it was people or animals.


Posted by: Sean on 22 Jul 05

That makes sense... idol-worshippers don't usually pray to buildings (although cars are another matter).

Thanks for the info.


Posted by: Jesse on 25 Jul 05



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