Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Welcome to Symmetry, Pattern & Color Spring 2012!

Textile, Jones, English, 19th Century

This course will explore pattern from prehistory to the present.  We will analyze and construct the geometry of pattern and study its roots in symmetry across a range of disciplines- mathematics, science and the visual arts.  

To set the stage for the course, let us consider the big picture of pattern and culture.  In this course we will define pattern as the ordering of shape in space to create repetition, movement, meaning.  Symmetry will be examined as a specific type of relationship between elements.  Color will influence the effect and perception of decorative form.

Imperial Robe,  Chinese, 18th Century
Consider the role of pattern in the garment  above.  This garment would function without the pattern.  But would it be as transformative, powerful, beautiful, personal or culturally meaningful?  Even nature itself seems to understand embellishment! Below the male bower bird decorates the nest with blue found objects to attract a mate.