Post#1: Digital Photography – Patterns in the Environment

As we hustle and bustle through our busy lives we often forget to stop and smell the roses. This blog post is all about training our eyes and our brains to be active observers in our environment with a focus on patterns. Patterns can be naturally occurring but for this post we look to manmade patterns. A pattern’s main characteristic is its repetition and often duplication of lines, colours, shapes etc. as well patterns can create flow or movement (Fox & Schirrmarcher, 2014).  The group members set out to identify patterns in downtown Toronto and this is what they found!

Brookfield Place on Bay Street, Toronto ON
Brookfield Place on Bay Street, photo credit : Heather

The Brookfield Place building is one I walk by almost every day on my trip from Union Station to Ryerson’s campus. The arched structure begins outside and continues through the length of the building. This pattern is plain and simple in construction but has a big visual impact.

311 Jarvis Street Ontario Court of Justice
311 Jarvis Street, photo credit: Rhema

Walking the streets of downtown TO I captured this snapshot of the Ontario Court of Justice. There are uniquely sized and shaped window frames filled with glass surrounded by concrete wall. The artistic elements that make up this image are PATTERNS, LINES, SYMMETRY, SHAPE and LIGHT.

Ryerson's Student Learning Centre
Ryerson’s Student Learning Centre, photo credit: Nejood

Architectural design is all around us and is full of design elements that are visually appealing. The geometric pattern, blue colours and hues, diagonal lines, three-dimensional shapes, and metal and plastic textures are some of the elements visible in the ceiling of Ryerson’s new Student Learning Building. The repetition of the geometric pattern creates sharp waves that give the illusion of motion.

200 Bay Street, Royal Bank Plaza
200 Bay Street, Royal Bank Plaza, Photo credit: Nimra

The Royal Bank Plaza next to the travel route taken by many, Union station, is a beautiful skyscraper made up of repetitive lines and shapes that are put together in various angles and levels. Different dimensions of lines: size, direction, length, and width form the shapes that are present. You can then see the formation of the angular, geometrical shapes of rectangles, squares and triangles. These shapes vary in size from large to small.

 Linking it to ECE!

We have to use our urban environment to our advantage and take our students out to explore and learn about their world. Children should be encouraged to explore and appreciate the beauty of the world both natural and manmade. Learning to identify patterns can assist early learners in their construction of concepts and understanding. Patterns are not just useful in the visual arts as they can also be used to support curriculum subjects like reading and math (Fox & Schirrmarcher, 2014).

Fox, J. E., & Schirrmacher, R. (2014). Art and creative development for young children(8th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Delmar.



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