These gorgeous paper vases are inspired by ancient Islamic architecture

For centuries, Islamic artists have adorned mosques and palaces with beautifully intricate recurring geometric patterns. Now, the founder of Abu Dhabi-based art studio Ibbini Studio, Julia Ibbini, is using modern technology to transform those centuries-old shapes into gorgeous sculptures.

The resulting designs turn paper with intricate laser cutouts in the tradition of historic Islamic art into 3D forms by layering hundreds of individual sheets until they make a sculptural shape. The sculptures are intricate examples of how precise mathematics and human craft combine to push the boundaries of sculptural form and make layers of cut paper look as delicate as glass. It’s no easy feat.

Ibbini says she has always been an artist, but she also has a background in communication design, and she started her career as a graphic designer working in marketing. She founded the studio in 2017 with software engineer Stephane Noyer. From there, the work evolved to become more and more complex.


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