PLAY WORK BUILD takes children and adults alike through an exploration of play with an immersive, hands-on installation featuring molded foam blocks of all shapes and sizes and an original virtual block play experience.
This set of 33 blocks was meant to be used for dual construction; the blocks are reversible and depict parts of different structures on each side. The patent for the “toy blocks that make a house” claimed as new the idea of building blocks marked on different sides for the purpose of constructing two structures with one kit.
Italian educator Maria Montessori designed carefully structured “sensorial exercises” with blocks to train children to observe the world around them, compare objects, form judgments, and make decisions. The directions for this Pink Tower, originally designed in 1907, ask children to stack ten wooden cubes from large to small, take down the tower, and rebuild it again.
Plastic mold injection, a new technique, enabled toy makers to create a variety of colorful, durable, interlocking brick construction toys that anyone could use to build complex structures. By alternating plastic pieces, just like real brick construction, children could build stable walls and other structures.
This cardboard scale-model house featured a flat roof, glass block windows, and attached garage features, touchstones of mid-century modern residential design. Quickly assembled, the house taught children not about construction techniques, but about the stand-out features of contemporary architecture.