Botanica Mathematica

a textile taxonomy of mathematical plant forms

Doors Open Display.

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Doors Open Days is a project that encourages buildings not normally open to welcome the public in for a nosey around. The focus is architecture but most have some more exhibits and activities. On 28 September my Day Job at the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences involved taking part, so they asked me to bring along Botanica Mathematica.

We set up the entire collection in the glass walled room that houses the library. Around 200 people came along and from the way I was croaking by 4pm, it felt like I spoke to most of them! I know i didn’t because I lurked in corners to take photos.

One of the 200 visitors was a schoolteacher I met in Orkney. She’d taken a few of the kits I had there to try and get some of her pupils interested and dropped in with the results. Out of her bag came lots of lovely hyperbolic crochet algae and flowers.

Katy's Hyperbolic Flowers

Katy’s Hyperbolic Flowers

A special thanks go to Katy from Kirkwall Grammar School who I understand learned to crochet in order to take part with her red and lilac flowers!

Hyperbolic Crochet Laminaria by Jean from Kirkwall

Hyperbolic Crochet Laminaria by Jean from Kirkwall

The algae included a lovely specimen of Laminaria sp. complete with holdfast attached to a felted pebble covered in fleece from a local pet lamb.

It really makes the project feel worthwhile when I see how people can take the ideas we’ve set out and make them their own. I hope we get some equally good feedback from the people who visitied ICMS on Doors Open Day.

Author: Knot Unknot

Artist/maker/scientist/mathematician/communicator/etc - suffers from many ailments including "popcorn kittens"! see

One thought on “Doors Open Display.

  1. Reblogged this on Elizabeth Armour and commented:
    “A textile taxonomy of mathematical plant forms”

    At the Mini Maker Faire in Edinburgh back in April this year I came across Botanica Mathematica; a fantastic project which explores the mathematic patterns appearing in botanic forms! The results of following these knitting patterns are amazing…this is probably the closest I’ll ever get to enjoying a maths related puzzle 🙂 Can’t wait to try out one of these patterns!
    Have a look at the wavey, fungus, bonsai, soft and structured forms knitted in different ‘paths’ resulting in beautiful organic textiles 🙂

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