The Generative Construction Toy2011

When you were a kid, did you ever wish you could design your own Lego pieces? Did you ever design your own toys? This is what DesignStudio did, as we explored strategies for generating value through play.

There are different strategies for playing with construction toys. Sometimes these toys come with instructions or a picture on the front of the box clearly defining the goal (convergent thinking). But more often than not, the pieces are dumped on the floor, and the form emerges in response to an evolving process of free play (divergent thinking). Our class explored both of these complementary design strategies.

We began this exercise by playing with a construction toy made up of four elements. Then, building upon what we had learned by playing with them, we altered the design of the elements in Adobe Illustrator and laser cut the new pieces. We played with them again. We repeated this process through a series of iterations, and as we did, a diverse range of design typologies emerged. We produced a wide range of work - moving well beyond the toy - from fashion to furniture design.