STEAM Project Ideas from the Greats – Mondrian, Grids, and Art

I dream about grids. Well, sometimes I dream about shoes and running out of bread and all that stuff, but often I dream about grids. I like them. Whenever it is time to make a new project for this site, the first thought is “What if I did a grid with this or that… ”

I felt very at home living in NYC because of the grid. I was living inside a coordinate geometry problem. For example, if I just go x blocks east then y blocks north I will get to the coffee shop.

For this reason, I lit up when I first saw Broadway Boogie Woogie by Piet Mondrian:

Broadway Boogie Woogie © Piet Mondrian via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain). Can be viewed on display at the Museum of Modern Art – New York, NY

It is a painting that evokes the feeling of a city, with the blocks and intersections, and buildings. But it also gives the viewer a sigh of relief because it is built upon a grid pattern. It is easy on the eye, and easy to understand. See the example:

See how the artist used a grid

But a painting on a grid does not have to be about a city.

How about a grid painting of farmland? Or a small town? Look at the perfect grid pattern of these farms in Indiana:

Indiana Farmland © By Wjmummert [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons


Design a favorite place on a grid.

  1. Download the graph paper below. Choose the size that works for your student:


graph-half2. Discuss what place your student would like to design on a graph. Suburb? City? Something from their imagination?

See some quick samples below:


Encourage the student to break boundaries if that works. Can they add cars, trees, houses? Have fun!


STEAM Project Ideas from the Greats – Mondrian, Grids, and Art

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