geometry in islamic art: pinwheel activity ... geometry in islamic art: pinwheel activity activity...

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Post on 25-Jun-2020




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  •   Geometry in Islamic Art:  

    Pinwheel Activity                 

      Activity Overview    Participants will utilize five provided templates to create a  pinwheel of shapes represented in Islamic art.    The interactive wheel will display: 

    ● How different shapes share similar attributes (such as axes  of symmetry).  

    ● How complex shapes are formed by both the addition and  subtraction of simple forms (circles, squares, and triangles). 

    ● How the combination of shapes represented in Islamic art  can form tessellations. 

    Materials: ​Four Shape Templates, One Basic Template, Colored  Pencils or Crayons, Scissors, One Brass Fastener. 

  • Step 1: 

    Cut out the basic  template (this will  become the square  base of the pinwheel).  Then cut out the  following four shape  templates: 

    ● Circle   ● Square  ● Eight-pointed star  ● Cruciform 


    Step 2: 

    Once all five templates  are cut out, color each  shape using a different  colored pencil or  crayon.  

    The contrasting colors  will help participants  visualize the  intersection of different  shapes and lines of  symmetry.

  • Step 3​: 

    Hole-punch all five shapes at  the center and stack the  shapes in the following order: 

    ● Basic template (Bottom)  ● Circle  ● Eight-pointed star  ● Square  ● Cruciform (Top) 



    Finally, use a brass fastener to join the drawings (at the center)  and experiment with the rotating form.  

    Step 4​: 




    Share your pinwheel with the  Shangri La community! 




  • Reflection:  

    Consider ​Process​: 

    ● What did you notice while  creating your pinwheel? 

    ● What was the most difficult  part? 

    Connecting to ​Geometric Principles​: 

    ● What do some of the shapes on  your pinwheel have in common? 

    ● What can you learn by rotating  the shapes on the wheel? 

    ● What other shapes could you  make using the blank template?  

    ● Do you think you could tessellate some of these shapes?  Which ones? Why? 

    Connecting to the Collection at ​Shangri La​: 

    ● Do you think Islamic art is  strictly made up of the same  four shapes you created?  

    ● What other shapes and forms  can one find in Islamic art? 

    ● Visit our website and see  what other shapes and forms  you can find in our collection! 


  • Doris Duke Foundation Islamic Art collection featured in  order of appearance: 

    Embroidered and Appliquéd Cotton Tent Panel (Khayamiya)​,​ ​Ottoman,  Mamluk Revival. 19th century. Cotton. Object Number: 83.23. Overall: 153  x 68 1/2 in. (388.6 x 174cm). Carved Wooden Doors with Tessellated Geometric Motifs​, Ottoman.  19th century. Wood, Polychrome Pigments. Object Number: 64.10a-b.  Other (a): 88 3/4 x 20 1/8 in. (225.4 x 51.1cm) Other (b): 88 1/2 x 19 5/8  in. (224.8 x 49.8cm). 

    Woman Smoking a Hookah​, British India. 19th century. Glass, Pigments.  Object Number: 46.21.    


    Additional Resources:  

    ● From the Metropolitan Museum of Art:  ○

    publications-for-educators/islamic_art_and_geometric_design. pdf 

    ● From the School of Islamic Geometric Design  ○ 

    ● From Eric Broug:  ○

    luTGNiWEVuQ3FBQ2hkN09JZnFFT3plaUNob2hrRXFqTWhac 0lPbGM​0Activity.pdf 

    ● From Joumana Medlej  ○ ​ 



  • Activity Templates: 

    Blank Template 



  • Circle Template 





  • Square Template 





  • Eight-Pointed Star Template 





  • Cruciform Template