Using art to teach maths * Using maths to create art

Islamic Art

Key Concepts in Islamic Art

• Islamic art is non-representational. Artistic expression is found through abstract decorative art rather than a pictorial imitation of nature.
• Artistic expression is founded on the principle of balance and order - seen as the basis of the laws of creation.
• Geometry means "land measure". Ropes were used as compasses.
• There is no need for calculations - all constructions are based on straight edge and compasses.
• The repeat unit is determined by the use of a circle:

Square system, including octagons

Hexagonal system

Also pentagonal system.

• The systematic arrangement of a repeat unit is used to produce an overall design.

Thanks to Alessandra Desbottes & Nigel Appleton for many of the photographs.

There are numerous possibilities for teaching mathematics through the medium of islamic art, here are but three:

Constructions

Angles

Area and Perimeter

However, it will also be an interesting and rewarding challenge for many pupils simply to recreate a geometric design like this on a square grid:

Or this:

-How could you draw out this design on squared paper...?