Source collecting Building Sets Storage
Mobaco was a Dutch construction toy of wood and cardboard from the 1930’s. It consisted of brown or green cardboard sheets in which holes were punched. in these holes Wooden poles fit. The wall, door and window elements of pressed and hardened cardboard, executed in various colors, in their turn fit in the grooves of the wooden poles. Mobaco was fairly popular as a toy, it made it easy to construct all kinds of buildings, and the materials used were friendly. The drawback was that the structures always looked a bit timber framed because the upright beams were always visible on the outside.
Friedrich Fröbel (1782-1852) was a German educator and the founder of the oldest known kindergarten, in 1837 in Bad Blankenburg. It was an institute for children under the age of six, which he occupied with various educational projects. In his theories, Fröbel assumed a belief in divine unity in nature, using spiritual training as a fundamental principle. Three-dimensional forms would stimulate the development of the child; an idea that resulted in the first buidling block boxes: Fröbel’s Gifts. This item is also on display in The Masonic Lobby.
Villa Cavrois in Croix is a large modernist mansion built in 1932 by French architect Robert Mallet-Stevens for Paul Cavrois, an industrialist from Roubaix active in the textile industry, who gave the architect free rein to carry on the project who, for the first time in his career could manage the entire work, down to the least details.Mallet-Stevens made 26 different moulds to obtain bricks that adapt to all situations (corners, curves). The villa is conceived by the architect as a total artwork and it represents the outcome of his technical and aesthetic reflections.
Bruno Taut, the renowned Expressionist architect famous for his glass building, Glaspalast, built in Cologne in 1914 for the German Werksbund exposition, played a decisive role in this rare glass building block set. As suggested by the name Dandanah – which is an Indian word for a bundle of rods or pillars – and the image on the title page, the octagonal building set was inspired by colourful palace designs reminiscent of India and exoticplaces. This item is also on display in The Typotectural Suites.
A central tenant of the design philosophy of Ray and Charles Eames was an embrace of play as an end in itself, the idea that creativity should be unconstrained and unburdened. The Toy was a self-assembly project made in 1951. This construction kit for children sums up the simplicity and playfulness of most of the Eames’ works. It comprised dowels with pierced ends, pipe cleaners and brightly colored panels (four square and four triangles) of plastic-coated resistant stiff paper.
Minecraft is a three-dimensional sandbox game that has no specific goals to accomplish, the creative and building aspects of Minecraft allow players to build with a variety of different cubes in a 3D procedurally generated world. In creative mode, players have access to all resources and items in the game through the inventory menu, and can place or remove them instantly.
KAPLA was invented in 1987 by Tom van der Bruggen. From an early age he had hopes of building a castle, complete with carriage entrance, fountains, and towers. To visualize the finished construction of his castle, Van der Bruggen used wooden blocks, but soon realized that they would not be suitable for certain aspects of the construction, such as the lintels, roofs and floors. Kapla consists only of identical wood planks measuring 11.7 cm x 2.34 cm x 0.78 cm (15:3:1 ratio), known for their stability in the absence of fastening devices.
Originally produced in 1945, and designed by Bruno Munari, the scatola di architettura contains a series of “bricks” of different shapes. Put together differently, you can make any number of buildings, from houses to churches, ancient castles to modern garages, hotels, skyscrapers, factories, towers, aqueducts, temples, stations, hangars, pile dwellings, houses with porticoes, balconies and terraces.
In late 1949 John Lloyd Wright patented his Wright Blocks, an interlocking block set. These were rectilinear, cross-grooved wooden blocks packaged in “No. 1” and “No. 2” sets of 36 and 70 pieces respectively. The Wright Blocks were not only more abstract and modern than Lincoln Logs, but they were also more versatile and could be assembled into lighter, more open structures. Nevertheless, they failed to catch the public’s fancy to the same extent as their log cabin predecessors and were not produced in any great quantity.
At the beginning of the 20th century, concrete blocks were already a common building material in the US. In developing his textile-block system, Frank Lloyd Wright’s aim was to refine this economic material and create a precise, standardized product of superior strength and high design quality. The first four buildings in which this system was applied were erected in Los Angeles (La Miniatura, the Ennis House, the Freeman House and the Storer House), using richly ornamented reinforced concrete blocks.
Walachia has been making high quality traditional and educational wooden toys in the Czech republic for over 25 years. VARIO contains beech parts of 15 mm in diameter, of various lengths with locks at the ends. Vario supports children’s imagination: it is possible to build from it more variants of different buildings according to their own ideas, it can be assembled and dismantled.
Jean Prouvé (1901 – 1984) was a French metal worker, self-taught architect and designer. In 1947, Prouvé conceived his first demountable house, a 10-by-12 meter steel and wood unit. With no foundations, the dwelling was assembled by hand and supported by a two-legged structure he called the “axial portal frame”, which he patented and used in all his subsequent modular housing.
Inspired by the robust charm of the chalets that adorn the mountains of the Jura region in France, Bernard Liégeon designed in 1941 a brand new concept of building game: Juraville is an ingenious but simple building set in which rectangular plain wooden slats are used lengthways to form walls, their short ends connecting at the corners with castellations.
Anchor Stone pieces are made of a mixture of quartz sand, chalk, and linseed oil precisely pressed in molds so that they fit together perfectly. The first Anchor Stone building block sets were manufactured in 1880 by Richter of Rudolfstadt, Thuringia, in the Eastern part of Germany which was under communist rule after World War II. The communist forbid the production of the blocks claiming it did not comply with communist ideals. It wasn’t until 1995 that the sets were again manufactured.
Lego, a self-made contraction by founder Ole Kirk Christiansen from the Danish phrase leg godt, meaning “play well.” Later he discovered that “Lego” can be loosely interpreted as “I put together” or “I assemble” in Latin. The history of Lego began in 1932 in a Danish carpentry workshop and continues into the 21st century as a popular and very profitable line of construction toys and related products and services, including board games, retail stores, video games, films, theme parks, and Serious Play consultant services, with a significant impact on various areas of popular culture.
Fabro was a building set from the 1940’s made by Aeromodels in Liverpool, England. Fabio is so simple to build that building instructions were unnecessary. The models illustrated on the box were given as a suggestion, and show the capabilities of the set.
Joaquín Torres-García (Uruguay, 1874-1949) is one of the great figures of the art of this century, an avant gardist whose influence encompasses European, American and South American modern art. He solved the eternal dilemma between the old and the modern, the classical and the avant-garde, reason and feeling, figuration and abstraction with a simple and brilliant metaphor: there is no contradiction or incompatibility. From 1926 to 1932 he lives in Paris where he created his VILLAGE ET ABECEDARIO.
Graphic designer (he calls himself an amateur) and artist Paul Cox is not interested in stylistic uniformity. Guided by a preference for combinatorics and coincidence, he designs optimal conditions for playing a construction game. Cox has an obsession with codes, structures and frames. Instruments to restore reality, but also creators of a shift, they are regularly called upon to promote the transfer of knowledge; as in the game Alphabetic Sculptures.