Ancient Art Meets Modern Technology

  • Middle School
Ancient Art Meets Modern Technology

Using new technology to understand and appreciate mandalas, middle schools students are using their iPads in new and unexpected ways. 

As a part of their first unit, “Balance and Unity,” Grade 8 students in Rebecca Jardin’s art class have learned a new way to fuse the ancient practice of painting mandalas, an art form steeped in history and culture traditionally symbolizing the teachings of Buddhism, with modern technology. 

A student uses "Amaziograph" to create a digital mandala.

Focusing on tints, tones, and shades, students first apply their understanding by creating a “traditional” painted mandala.

Creating mandalas requires patience and precision regardless of the method used.

One of the many elaborately hand-painted mandalas made by students.

As students carefully craft their designs, a calmness envelopes the classroom. And in each work of art, elaborate organic and geometric forms begin to take shape in the radial designs.

Meditative calm envelopes the classroom as students work on their mandalas.

Incorporating Technology in Novel Ways

A thousand years ago, the work may have stopped there. But in Ms. Jardin’s art class, where technology is incorporated in novel ways, students are using the app, Amaziograph, to design digital mandalas. 

Instead of the paintbrushes or sand used by Buddhist monks, students use iPads to create the final step of their process - assembling an AR (augmented reality) sculpture, where digital content is superimposed on the real world using a smartphone or tablet.

Through their iPads students’ see their artwork come to life as their digital mandalas spin around the analog paintings.

Mesmerizing samples of students' AR sculptures.

And as students learn more about the significance of mandalas in various cultures, they will reflect, compare, and contrast it to their own experiences. We can’t wait to hear their thoughts!


Author: Tanya Olander
Communications Officer


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