When Natural Beauty, Crochet, and Math Collide

comments (2) May 5th, 2009     

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LindaPermann Linda Permann, contributor
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Check out this video from the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference, featuring Margaret Wertheim speaking about how she and her sister started the Crochet Coral Reef project. She talks about the link between math, hyperbolic crochet, and examples of hyperbolic space in the natural world (especially in coral reefs). Check out their website, The Institute for Figuring (IFF), for an online exhibit on hyperbolic space, complete with general instructions on how to crochet your own model of this space. The sisters started the IFF as a way to "advance the aesthetic appreciation of scientific concepts." Crochet is the ideal medium to show abstract mathematical concepts in three dimensions, and through this project and her presentation at TED, Wertheim reminds us that we can engage people in learning about abstract ideas not only through thinking but also through play.

For more, check out Kayte's post about our visit to part of the reef in NYC, and my post on crocheter Helle Jorgensen.

posted in: "crochet coral reef", hyperbolic crochet, margaret wertheim

Comments (2)

carolwiebe writes: Linda. I recently posted about Margaret Wertheim as well.

I whole-heartedly agree with your conclusion:"that we can engage people in learning about abstract ideas not only through thinking but also through play."

As a teacher,and artist, I practice that all the time!
Posted: 9:08 am on May 9th
driverj2 writes: I just watched this video and thought is was one of the best things I have seen in a long time. I am not highly educated and I am self taught in crochet, but I loved this. It meant so much to me to see it. Thank you for exposing me to something new and as great as this.
Posted: 9:23 pm on May 5th
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