Friday, February 3, 2017
Visual Math in Architecture
Above is a beautiful picture of the Roman Collesium in Rome, Italy. Look at all the beautiful geometric shapes of arches or semicircles on top of rectangles. If you look down from above, its a beautiful ellipse or oval shaped. Imagine being able to calculate the equation for this specific ellipse. With a bit of research, its possible to find the information so students can figure out the area of each of the arched entrances. Students could possibly even determine the open area these entrances open up.
Look at all the beautiful parabolas found on the golden gate bridge. There are also nice lines and rectangles hidden in the bridge. Image having students find the length of the bridge and the distance between the two posts with the beautiful parabolas so the students could create the equation for this piece of art. They could also figure out the equation of the parabola at the end.
Look at the Arch of Triumph in Paris. This is filled with some great mathematical shapes one, could find the equation for so many different shapes. In addition, think about calculating the number of bricks used to build this, the equation for the arch, circles, and so many more things. It just means you look at it and look for anything mathematical you can.
This struck me as I'm putting together a short video on the Roman collesium and I realized its basic shape is elliptical so I can have students calculate the equation for it. In addition, there are other shapes students can find the area for, equations, etc. Look at public buildings, have fun annotating pictures and finding equations or areas. It is great.