Persistent students created an exhibition combining math and art despite exceptional circumstances

The sheltered courtyard next to the main lobby of the Undergraduate Centre and its dark-red brick, black granite and copper clad façade provides a solid frame for the 2021 exhibition, Collineations grounds.

After successful student exhibitions of the transdisciplinary course Crystal Flowers in Halls of Mirrors: Mathematics meets Art and Architecture in Heureka Science Centre 2017 and Espoo Cultural Centre 2019, Aalto Math&Arts Minor exhibition returns to Otaniemi Campus in spring 2021.

The sheltered courtyard next to the main lobby of the Undergraduate Centre and its dark-red brick, black granite and copper clad façade provides a solid frame for the exhibition. In the spirit of Alvar Aalto, the student works enliven the premises from several perspectives through surrounding windows.

‘It is very special to get the exhibition up and running in these exceptional circumstances’, says Senior University Lecturer Kirsi Peltonen.

During the course, students from diverse disciplines and various stages of their studies have been working together in the realm of mathematics and arts searching interesting structures and concepts to be scrutinized and developed into tangible objects.

‘The Crystal Flowers in Halls of Mirrors course is based on interaction. Attempts have been made to build it, but creating genuine interaction and dialogue while working remotely is really challenging, sometimes even painful. It has required constant adjustments, and plans have had to be changed on the go. I am extremely grateful to the students who have steadfastly bared with us’, Peltonen says.

The theme of the 2021 course highlighted the fundamental role of projective geometry in the development of modern mathematics and interaction with applied fields. Its original growth out of the efforts of architects and painters to present spatial objects on flat surfaces to an exciting branch of mathematics manifests itself in genuine interconnections. From a beautiful and intricate system of consistent propositions about points, lines and planes, a collection of unexpected results follows, stretching our imagination and strengthening the link between mathematics and visual perception.

Exhibition in Otaniemi Campus 26.5.–26.8.2021

Photos: Mikko Raskinen, video: Anna Berg.

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