Sheryl A. DeCaprio
The study of architecture may be approached from many directions. We could study architecture as an expression of man’s cultural and social values or as an historical tool by which we may see how buildings describe the attitudes of the time. Architecture may be studied as an extension of man, a visual representation of how man creates his building to suit his environment, as an art form. an expression of man’s ideals, desires, and feelings on beauty or as an expression of geometry as applied to structures. Architecture embodies man s need to be part of his space as well as his need to secure shelter and comfort in that total environment. Architecture is more than just constructing tour walls with a roof to keep out the cold and rain. it is a spiritual extension of man’s unity with nature.
Architecture, as with all man’s constructions, has a set basis upon which the philosophy of the structure and the actual construction grows. Our world is dictated by the surrounding space. More simply, the patterns we find in our buildings, in nature, and in our world are dictated by space and are identifiable by man. Man has taken the patterns evident in nature and space and has used them to create his home, his office and his parks.
The purpose of this unit is to expose students to the bases and patterns of architecture. The unit proposes to identify those patterns that space dictates and show how these patterns are manifested in mathematics, in nature, and in architecture. This unit addresses the middle school student and is to be taught as an extension of the geometry unit. This extension unit will cover a two week period in addition to the existing time allotment for a geometry unit. The unit does not attempt to teach architecture, but only to provide some tangible evidence that mathematics, specifically geometry, has learning value for the children as well as application to their lives. It provides students with an awareness and initial understanding of how geometry cooperates with space.