Since childhood, Hozan Zangana has been fascinated with ancient Kufi calligraphy, a seventh-century script whose name derives from the city of Kufa in Iraq. In collaboration with his mentor, Thomas Milo – a typographer specialising in Arabic and Persian font design – Zangana has designed a typeface for a digital font. In doing so, Zangana speculated on what inspired the creators of Kufi calligraphy. How did they create such minimal, intelligent, and beautiful shapes?
These deliberations informed Zangana’s interest in ancient Mesopotamic and Persian sculptures dating from the fifth to the seventh millennium BC. He was struck by the resemblance between these sculptures and the calligraphy. Is it possible that the creators of Kufi calligraphy used sculptural art as inspiration? Could this have been a way for calligraphers to maintain the region’s heritage in times of political turmoil?
Within the eras Zangana studies, creative expression was limited by religion’s dominance. Art survived largely through two-dimensional practices, such as carpets, mosaics, and miniatures. Zangana’s work examines whether he can design three-dimensional objects using Kufi Calligraphy as inspiration.
Made in collaboration with Frans Ottink, Otto Koedijk, Rutger Graas, Gianni Bertozzi, Jeroen Baijens and Erik den Hartog. Mentor: Stef Bakker.
Year of Birth
1983 (Kirkuk, Iraq)
Design Academy Eindhoven
Hozan Zangana Studio
Stef Bakker, Samson Genet, Louise Rietvink, Annemartine van Kesteren, Maarten Brinkman
Niloufar Ashtiani, Bianca Breure, Thomas Milo, Aldo Bakker, Erik Bakker, Frans Ottink, Otto Koedijk, Rutger Graas, Sofie Lachaert, Erik den Hartog, Gianni Bertozzi, Stefan Tervoort, Kasia Gatkowska, Peter van der Meulen, Timo Goosen, Hiromi Watanabe, Roosmarijn Hompe, Arno Kalfsvel, Esther Driessen, Michael Huijser, and Jeroen Baijens