Under constraint

Since 2009, the Seine-Saint-Denis County Council has been backing “la Culture et l’Art au Collège (CAC)”. This project is based to a large extent on the presence in class for several weeks (40h) of an artist or scientist whose mission is to engage the students in a process of research and creation. 

 

Tutor: Olivier Salon/ écrivain, Oulipo

Project manager: Stéphane Coulaud

 

Objectives: 
A project in which mathematics is mingled with literature and drawing. Mathematics is both a resource for linguistic invention and imagination and a topic of discussion. A member of OULIPO (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle) is there to help.

Workshops:
What is Oulipo? The pupils learnt about the Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle by reading its early writings and analysing the constraints the authors imposed on themselves.

Research and writing on the basis of geometrical shapes and the vocabulary that describes them: circle, line, cube, spiral, etc.

Selection of more complicated constraints for writing a story which explores the pupils' ideas about mathematics.

Outcome:
Publication of a 40-page booklet containing the texts that two classes imagined and produced "under constraint": "Le jardin retrouvé" and "Géométrie variable".
A graphic principle using the simple geometrical forms that guided the writing sessions spruced up the layout in an Oulipien spirit.
In the week of 20 June 2011, the pupils were given their copy of the book at a gathering of all the people involved in the project and members from both schools. 

 

Outings (selection):
- CITÉ DES SCIENCES, PERMANENT EXHIBITION "MATHEMATICS", HISTORY, MAIN PRINCIPLES, APPLICATIONS FOR DEMYSTIFYING THIS SCIENCE.
- SALON DES JEUX MATHÉMATIQUES. ACTIVITIES AND EDUCATIONAL GAMES BASED ON MATHEMATICS.

Participating schools:
- Collège Jean-Vigo, Épinay-sur-Seine
- Collège République, SEGPA, Bobigny

 

Photo: PIERRE ANTOINE

Under constraint