Dancing Rope and Braid Into Being: Whole-body Learning in Creating Mathematical/ Architectural Structures

Susan Gerofsky, Eva Knoll and James Forren
Proceedings of Bridges 2017: Mathematics, Art, Music, Architecture, Education, Culture
Pages 523–530 Workshop Papers


In this interactive, hands-on workshop, the three co-authors/ workshop presenters (with experience in mathematics, math education, weaving and architecture) share insights into the mathematics of braided and twined structures and interests in large scale embodied mathematics learning and community construction techniques. Participants will explore the structures of braid- and rope-making, first through small-scale hand building, and then through collaborative ‘danced’ construction of twines, braids and Maypole-inspired helical lattices as architectural structures, with the aim of developing deeper understandings of patterns inherent in these patterns. The techniques used in this workshop would work well in classroom explorations of the geometries of ropes and braids for courses in mathematics, teacher education and architecture.