A Mission Impossible? Learning the Logic of Space with Impossible Figures in Experience-Based Mathematics Education


  • Koskimaa Raine
  • Kristof Fenyvesi




Most visual effects based on mathematically and physically describable phenomena and formalizable processes. Creating visual illusions, paradox structures and ‘impossible’ figures through playful and artistic procedures, holds an exciting pedagogical opportunity for raising students’ interest towards mathematics and natural sciences and technical aspects of visual arts. The Experience Workshop Math-Art Movement has a number of pedagogical methods, which are connected to visual paradoxes and perspective illusions. In the first part of our article, we introduce classroom exercises connected to the Hungarian artist Tamás F. Farkas’s paradox structures and impossible figures. There are certain digital games as well, which employ visual illusions as a part of their game mechanic. Most of these games were not designed as an educational game, but they may be used for educational purposes, to clarify mathematical concepts behind and related to visual illusions (symmetry, perspective, isometric projection etc.). In the second part of the article we analyze which characteristics of these games can contribute to the pedagogic impact, and how to best take advantage of them in an educational context.

Author Biographies

Koskimaa Raine


Raine Koskimaa, Professor of Contemporary Culture, University of Jyväskylä, Department of Art and Culture Studies. E-mail address: raine.koskimaa@jyu.fi Homepage: https://www.jyu.fi/hum/laitokset/taiku/hlokunta/koskimaa

Kristof Fenyvesi


Kristóf Fenyvesi, PhD, Post-doctoral researcher at Contemporary Culture Studies, University of Jyväskylä, Department of Art and Culture Studies. E-mail address: kristof.k.fenyvesi@jyu.fi Homepage: university - https://www.jyu.fi/hum/laitokset/taiku/hlokunta/fenyvesi-kristof ; personal - www.kristoffenyvesi.hu