0,9 m2 + 0,216 m3 form.

Denmark    2 | See all    Henrik Bak
Project Overview
A 0.9 m2 image and 0.216 m³ form.
An interdisciplinary project combining visual arts, design and mathematics
Written by Miriam Birk and Wojciech Laskowski, DK

What does 0.9 m2 look like? Is it broad, high, crooked or straight?
What can fit inside 0,216 m3 and what can you do with 0,216 m3? Can it contain a lot or little?
Is it round or square? Is it large or small? Is there enough space?
Is it possible to calculate and measure a picture or a sculpture using mathematical concepts?
How many different pictures and sculptures can be created with one form or shape?
What can be the subject for a picture or a sculpture and what does it tell us?

These and many more questions formed the basis for our project.
Constructivism as an artistic phenomenon that can soon celebrate its 100 year anniversary. We have decades of geometric abstraction, concrete art, "Op-Art", functionalism and so on behind us.
Despite the great importance of these art movements in relation to art perception and the influence that they have had on today's design in a broad perspective, they are seldomly introduced into public school art education.
General art education is characterized by subjective, emotional and narrative forms of expression and similar art appreciation.
The absence of constructivism is problematic since this direction of visual art has a huge potential in interdisciplinary teaching - especially in the combination with natural sciences.

In our projects (both those we have done individually and together), we have often worked within concrete structures which involve limitations.
Limitations are a very important factor when working with group projects and they fulfill many functions:
Firstly, they form a common social frame for comparison / a common reference for a professional and objective dialogue making it possible for solutions and ideas to be discussed in relation to each other.
Secondly the limitations are effective catalysts for innovative and creative thinking as they require and stimulate reflection in the work.

The main objective of this project was to work with module systems in both 2 and 3 dimensional works, within a mathematical framework.
By using simple geometric shapes, which should be constructed by the students with a predetermined area it was possible to experiment with their ability to create new shapes, visual structures and spaces.
The process was exploratory and often surprising for both students and for us as teachers and the results were not only visually interesting but they also visualized some mathematical quantities, that often seem abstract and without relation to the students own world.
Working using the same shape/module for both two and three dimensional works, promotes both an understanding of the difference between the dimensions as well as a spatial understanding.

Although the project was not originally a design project it contains many elements which are relevant to design and which often appear in connection with design.
For example the module/shape idea is used in textile, graphic and furniture design. Furthermore, the restrictions regarding volume and space are also relevant in design.
The project also illustrates the interdisciplinary possibilities inherent in art and design projects in schools.
In this case it was combining visual arts, design and mathematics.

The project involved students from 7th, 8th and 9th Grade in Copenhagen at “Billedskolen i Tvillingehallen”.

Task 1: Create a rectangular piece of paper that measures 600 cm2
Task 2: Create a new shape by making 2 cuts in the paper and combine the 3 pieces in a new way and then tape them together.
Task 3: Make a cardboard cut out of the new shape which of course still measures 600cm2.
Task 4: Choose from 5 different colours - 3 colours that you will use and make approx. 15 coloured shapes using your card board cut out.
Task 5: Combine the 15 different coloured shapes fitting them together to create an image/pattern, which it is possible to measure the size of according to how many shapes were used!
Task 6: Construct a cubic frame that measures 0,216 m3 out of thin strips of wood
Task 7: Use your cardboard cut out to make approx. 15 cardboard shapes.
Task 8: Construct a sculpture/ form that fits inside the 0,216 m3 framework. Use a glue pistol to assemble the pieces. .
Use more than 1 cardboard shape for instance 2 or 3.
Use more/less than 3 colors.
Use other dimensions.
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