Fashion and STEAM at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

By Dr Mary Coupland.

I have long admired Mark’s approach to maths and in particular to forms of geometry that go beyond the flat surfaces of Euclidean geometry. It is not often that a maths teacher has conversations with a fashion designer about angles and surfaces. But Mark and I have been talking about those interesting features that maths shares with fashion for some time now, ever since he sought conversations with someone from the maths department at UTS.

Now we are not the maths department but part of the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MAPS) and MAPS is keen to talk to school students about the wonders of STEM, so it is fitting that we have made this alliance and aim to show how maths can be fun, and have wonderful applications to arty fields such as fashion and design.

This particular blog entry is about Mark’s participation in MAASive Lates: Fashion at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, a special event on the 19th May 2016. I knew this was going to be inspiring and fun so was sure to go along that night with a friend. What did we see? Performance art, fabulous costumes, and of course Mark’s display of outfits from his adventures with zero waste, as well as an engrossing hands-on activity that had folks cutting and making mini costumes with curvatures of several kinds. 

Everyone was concentrating very hard to make a mini skirt and top – and along the way they were discussing curves and shapes… lots of fun!

Watch out for the Drapemeasure, which is going to revolutionise pattern making!

Later in the evening we listened to Mark being interviewed on the mail floor. 

That was a cool performance!  How refreshing to hear that maths has many many applications in fashion and that fashion designers of the future need to keep up with their number study.