This project launches an inquiry into geometric patterns through constructed line drawings. Geometric patterns can be found in art, architecture, and vernacular craft throughout the world. These patterns are not only interesting due to their geometry – relationships between part and whole, the process of construction, hierarchy, and optical/illusory qualities – but also on a cultural and philosophical level. This investigation challenges the student to discover and derive the hidden structures underlying these ornate patterns and to further develop technical capabilities.
The student will begin by selecting a pattern from a given set of patterns (11 or more per studio group) and will be challenged to derive the underlying structure of the pattern through geometric construction techniques using a compass, ruler, and pencil. The project is not to copy the pattern, but to understand and communicate the underlying structure of the pattern.
Drawings are to be made using a drafting pencil, ruler, and compass only.
One Drawing (minimum) of the underlying structure of the pattern using 1/2 Imperial Scale paper. The number sheets of paper that are needed depends on the scale of the pattern, conceptual layout of the pattern on the sheet, and global variation of the pattern.
In this part of the project the student is asked to produce a set of didactic drawings – drawings that would teach another person how to construct the pattern using the same set of tools. In making this drawing, one must consider not only sequence but also how one could explore variations and open-ended results by leaving some of the rules of the “global” structure less constrained, while defining local rules or grammars.
In this part of the project the student is challenged to develop a variation of the pattern, based on the rules that were derived from the pattern in the earlier steps. The instructors will organize an exchange of Didactic Grammar drawings between students in their groups. Therefore the student will be presented with a new pattern, now known only from the grammar rules. This series of given drawings should be used to generate a pattern, that may be a variation of the actual pattern and explore a detail within this drawing. Students should discuss the definition of a “detail” with their instructors.