How do math and art combine to preserve health and safety, as well as bring awareness to drivers to slow down while driving through school zones?  Through anamorphosis–a distorted image that only appears in natural form under certain conditions, as when viewed at a distance or from a particular angle.

The safety advocacy group hopes that, by using an anamorphic image of a child running out into the street after a ball, drivers will be reminded to slow down their vehicles at that moment, and anytime they may be driving through a school zone.  The image, placed on 22nd Street in West Vancouver, British Columbia, is of a girl picking up a pink ball.  Mathematically distorted, it can only be seen from the distance of 100 feet away.  The image is strategically placed to pop up as drivers approach; any closer and drivers can tell it’s an illusion.  Hopefully they slow down to look more closely.

The technology is made from 3-M concrete sidewalk vinyl, and stretches for 40 feet. Because of the distortion, the head of the child is 400 percent larger than the feet.

Anamorphosis is not a new art form–Leonardo da Vinci is said to have created the first anamorphic art piece in Western civilization in the 15th century. will leave the sticker on the road for a couple of weeks, but the sticker can stay on the road for between three to six months before it succumbs to environmental wear and tear.

Good job,, and good job Canada.  I can think of lots of other good uses of anamorphic art, and I’m sure you can, too (pitbull on front door, hmmm…).  For more anamorphosis, check here.  Enjoy.

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