#MathArtChallenge 94: Twelvefold Islamic Geometric Rosette from Samira Mian

12fold rosette full

The Challenge: Make yourself a 12-fold Islamic Geometric Rosette.

Materials needed: Compass, straight edge, paper, pencil, colors
Math Concept: angles, circles, geometric construction, geometry, Islamic geometry, lines, polygons, symmetry, tessellations, vertices/intersections.

All of the instructions I followed here can be found at Samira Mian’s website. If you aren’t already familiar with how much I respect and admire this woman, you probably haven’t been following me particularly closely. I couldn’t do the last 10 without nodding to Samira. Her work is an absolute gift to the mathematics community. You should probably definitely go take her first and second online classes.

12fold rosette detail

Here’s the time lapse of me making it:

Things to ponder:

  • Check out how different the rosette looks when it’s in a 4 fold or a 6 fold tiling (you can see both at Samira’s page). What shapes change? How are the tilings similar or different?
  • What other ways could you highlight shapes? Is there a way to have a laced pattern with alternating shapes colored or empty? (Positive and negative space)

(p.s. I know this is a day late. I was at the EduColor summit yesterday and it was just necessary for me to spend my time there. I’ll still try to post another later today.) 

Depending on how you use this activity, you may engage with different mathematical standards. I’ve listed possible connected math content above. Here are a few suggestions for how you might integrate the 8 mathematical practices. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments!

1.) Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. How does this rosette change when it is tessellated in 4fold vs 6fold symmetry?

6.) Attend to precision. What do you notice about this construction compared with other Islamic constructions?

Author: Ms. P

Math Teacher in Minneapolis, MN.

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