The Beautiful Triangle

Greg Beiles and Daphne Rosenwald
Proceedings of Bridges 2009: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2009)
Pages 385–388 Workshop Papers


The Beautiful Triangle workshop introduces to educators a multi-disciplinary study that integrates geometry, spatial sense, aesthetics, language, the history of ideas, and visual arts. The guiding concept of the study is that geometric figures represent and communicate concepts, feelings, and experiences. The workshop, which is rooted in a constructivist pedagogical model, combines both explanatory and experiential learning. By engaging in the same learning activities as the students would, educators gain insight into the analytical and creative processes involved in the study. The learning activities include: making choices based on aesthetic preferences; analyzing these choices through reference to geometric properties; naming triangles based on Greek and Latin roots; experimenting with triangles as analytical tools based on the model of Thales; appreciating and analyzing the work of Wassily Kandinsky as a model of conceptual geometric art; and designing a piece of conceptual geometric art with accompanying Artist Statement. The Beautiful Triangles workshop is based on a unit of study that has been piloted with students at The Toronto Heschel School. The workshop will be of interest to educators who are looking for ways to integrate mathematics and arts in ways that enhance critical and creative thinking.