Beautiful and Useful: Bauhaus and Walter Gropias (LS-RS-521)

This LS is created by Natalija Budinski, a Serbian Mathematics teacher. It combines Architecture, Mathematics and History – and making origami.


This lesson was implemented during regular mathematical lessons since origami is a mathematical discipline. There are origami axioms that enabled proof of many mathematical problems.

Learning process

The lesson begins with the teacher’s presentation of this Europeana blog as source material. Students explore Europeana’s article about Bauhaus. Bauhaus made a great influence on the art and architecture of the 20th century. It is also famous for introducing origami in the process of learning and teaching. The teacher also presents the idea of using origami in mathematics. Students explore the notion of hyperbolic paraboloid and its mathematical properties.


The curved-crease sculptures are known even earlier at the beginning of twentieth as a result of Joseph Albers’ work at the famous art school Bauhaus in Germany, and later in the Black Mountain College. Artist and professor encouraged experimenting with different materials, among which paper and held a preliminary course in “paper folding”.

The course had great pedagogical value since paper folding allowed students to explore constructions through hands-on activities. Materials, such as paper has certain limitations but according to Albers, those constrains should awaken students creativity. His approach greatly influenced modern architecture, art and design.

(Thesis “A New Unity, the Art and Pedagogy of Joseph Albers” by Esther Dora Adler, University of Maryland, 2004 and Budinski N. (2019) Mathematics and Origami: The Art and Science of Folds. In: Sriraman B. (eds) Handbook of the Mathematics of the Arts and Sciences. Springer.)


During the lesson, students made their own origami. Students’ task was to fold origami that was proposed by Bauhaus.

Afterwards students presented origami activities in the open weekend workshop. It was covered by local newspaper.

The students also used this and this online resources.

Students liked the activity and presented this concept in the workshop held in Novi Sad in December 2019. See some of the outcomes.

Origamis prepared by the students
Hyperbolic Paraboloids

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CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana Collections and provided by the Regionaal Archief Nijmegen.

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