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Lesson Plans


[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sears, Ellen (
Fri, 13 Sep 96 13:33:00 PDT

I am sending this to both my art listserv, and my math listserv. I would
appreciate replies/ ideas/ corrections from both.

When discussing the elements of art I have always been led to believe that
the element shape has two components; organic and geometric.

The following definitions are from the web site henry recommended re: Art
Glossary (I do not have the URL, and the hypermail doesn t have that message

geometric - Refers to mechanical, man-made shapes such as squares,
rectangles, circles, spirals,and bands...

organic - An irregular shape, or one that might be found in nature, rather
than a regular,mechanical shape.

Other references define geometric as - the type of art that uses lines and
shapes that recall geometry: triangles, squares, rectangles, straight
lines, circles...

organic - free form, or a quality that resembles living things. The opposite
of mechanical or geometric.

geometric - shapes with rules

organic - shapes without rules

Now here s the (read ?my ) problem - with respect to both disciplines and
trying to integrate/enhance different subject areas - I have a problem with
the terms. In a nutshell: organic - nature; geometric - man-made. But
aren t bee-hives, turtle shells, snake skins... all geometric? Even the way
mud cracks - I mean, nature is lazy (efficient) and the cracks in mud aren t
as free form/ random as one might think. Even the so-called cloud shape
isn t as free form as once thought, especially if you consider the branch of
geometry that deals with fractals. (Fairly recent) Wouldn t the only true
?free form shape be man- made? Aren t we a part of nature? So then what do
we tell students? Do they overlap? Are there subsets for both? Is it time
to rethink one of the elements of art?

So if you made it this far - let me know what you think.