Categories: Culturally Situated Design Tools, Libby Rodriguez, photos
The student project for the spring semester of 2013 was to learn about African hexastrip weaving to model buckyball molecules. I followed the outline here:
First, the students created small buckyballs that they could hold in their hand. With this, we talked about the 60 degree angles at each turn, and how Africans use this concept to uniformly make baskets and other weaves. I also brought a African ball woven from wood that Ron Eglash gave me to further explain how useful this technique is in Africa. At each intersection, a hexagon is formed, and each “hole” in the ball is a pentagon. We worked on this project over a couple of days, and as different students began to show up, I had the previous students become the teachers for the newer students.
Next, I printed the buckyball strips on a 36″ X 42″ poster so the students could make a really large buckyball. Once I brought this into the classroom, we had the idea of creating three types of buckyballs. The first one that fit in the students’ hands, the large one on the poster, and then a medium one so we could put all of them inside of each other.