Where is the African Mozart (Video)

Fractal Art

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“Ethno-mathematician” Ron Eglash is the author of African Fractals, a book that examines the fractal patterns underpinning architecture, art and design in many parts of Africa. By looking at aerial-view photos — and then following up with detailed research on the ground — Eglash discovered that many African villages are purposely laid out to form perfect fractals, with self-similar shapes repeated in the rooms of the house, and the house itself, and the clusters of houses in the village, in mathematically predictable patterns.

As he puts it: “When Europeans first came to Africa, they considered the architecture very disorganized and thus primitive. It never occurred to them that the Africans might have been using a form of mathematics that they hadn’t even discovered yet.”

“Next time you bump into one of those idiots who starts asking you questions like, ‘where is the African Mozart, or where is the African Brunel?’ — implying that Africans do not think — send them a copy of Ron Eglash’s study of fractals in African architecture and watch their heads explode.”–mentalacrobatics.com

Courtesy of Ron Eglash | Profile on TED.com.