One look at the surrounding environment, and its visual elements, is sufficient to make the designer, we may say, a viewer too, particularly, interested in it. The visual elements of the environment are considered creative motivators for the designer, developing his visual skills, and his related visual thinking processes, as well as its impact on the designer’s visualization, to be capable of creating rich and authentic designs. A set of mental processes mainly associated with the skills of visual thinking, as well as the personal emotions related to each designer, which have an important role in honing the different designer’s skills. The architecture and its sculptural architectural elements reflect the designer’s artistic skills, his ability of observation, and visual perception, which contributed greatly to the expansion of his visual thinking skills. These can be discerned through reflections of the surrounding environment in his architectural elements designs. By contemplating the natural elements of his surrounding environment, the artist has been able to create innovative aesthetic designs for his creative sculptural architecture that carries the vocabulary and spirit. As well as investigating how contemplating the surrounding environment inspired the artist with all its details, and how he/she treated it as visual and emotional stimulation, that fires up his/her imagination enriches his/her thoughts, and makes them able to reframe it.
The greatness of each civilization can be apprehended from the greatness of its architecture. Like, only one look at Islamic architecture is enough to tell how great this civilization was, and how deeply the Muslim designer loved his environment. The past Islamic architecture can be considered as a mirror reflecting its environment, and emphasizing the Muslim designer’s close connection to it. This connection enhanced the designer’s ability to observe every little detail of the surrounding environment and buildings, and transform it into a well-designed architectural sculptural element. The capability of the architectural sculptor depends on his ability to understand his surrounding environment and observe the potentialities of its visual elements. His vision and his closeness to his environment constitute the first steps to obtaining the “visual thinking” skills, and the mental processes associated with them, helping to develop the designer’s creativity.
DESIGN OF VISUAL LANGUAGE
Visual thinking is a series of processes that start with the eye movement itself and ends with a creative outcome as a result of brain analysis of the visual information combined with cultural features stored in the designer’s brain. This outcome can simply be rich and original architectural elements of design, which acts as a visual stimulus to the receiver, who starts a whole new visual thinking process. The visual thinking processes help to develop the designer’s recognition of the visual language surrounding him, and understanding of its details, then expressing this knowledge with his style in exquisite visual sentences, in the context of the architectural design. Visual thinking is a way in which the designer can communicate visually with his environment and combine its visual elements with the information and knowledge stored in his mind. The aim is to re-coordinate images of different meanings in one meaningful context. All this process starts with the designer’s vision of the surrounding environment and his desire to find visual solutions to his design problems. These unique architectural designs involve the visual reader with the original Muslim visual story and help him to develop his own visual thinking skills too.
Visual language is the highest level of all languages because its reading is associated with complex mental and emotional processes. Visual language is full of visual vocabulary and symbols that reflect many concepts. The comprehension and response to these symbols represent the designer’s ability to read them. Visual language is the main link between the designer and his surrounding environment. This environment represents the first source of visual knowledge that the designer can read and understand its vocabulary through pure observation. The environment is full of visual stimuli that stimulate the designer’s creativity by emphasizing the aesthetics of nature. The reading of visual sentences begins primarily through the process of seeing that the eye of the designer does, where the eye represents the designer’s own portal to the visual world around him. This visual information received by the designer’s eye is combined with feelings and emotions that determine the extent to which the designer is related to and attached to this knowledge. Eventually, this information reaches the designer’s mind, which in turn analyzes and preserves it for global social good. These processes, which are related to the visual language and the knowledge provided by it, are the first stage of visual thinking.
Vision is the starting point of an exploration journey, where the designer, relying on creativity and innovation, begins, to establish his own visual library that is full of visual elements of his environment. The environment is a comprehensive visual encyclopedia that includes an infinite number of visual vocabularies. The designer’s ability to read these vocabularies means the development of his mental skills. So Whenever the designer is exposed to these visual vocabularies, his visual expertise increases, and becomes more attentive to the elements of his surrounding environment, and becomes also more responsive to these vocabularies as visual stimuli, thus becoming more visually conscious. Vision plays an important role in developing the designer’s imagination and visualization. It helps him to develop his ability to think visually and to be more creative and innovative.
Imagination is the main catalyst for the development of visual thinking, and it’s also a process of higher mental and intellectual activity related to the visual perception of the designer. Imagination also considers the reflective image that is formed in the mind of the designer as an extension of those views that he sees around him and it is a part of the experience that the designer gain when he perceives visuals. The visionary exercise works mainly to enrich the designer’s visual thinking and regulate the mental processes associated with it. This helps the designer to manage to link his previous experiences with the requirements of the new situation. As a result, the mind of the designer will be able to organize his visual knowledge and experiences in creative imaginative forms. These forms are mainly related to the visual queries needed to solve the designer’s visual problems. These visual queries and the visual search related to them are the new starts for a new group of visual and Sentimental processes.
VISUAL QUERIES AND VISUAL SEARCH
Visual queries are the most important approach that helps the designer perceive the visual elements. The designer sees what he needs to see, that’s why his mind constructs a set of visual queries according to the design’s problem and starts a visual search to satisfy these queries. The visual search is executed mainly when the information that the designer needs to solve the problem or to create the design is so little. So we can say that the visual queries and the visual search are very basic processes related to the visual thinking definition.