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28 OCTOBER 2015

The Free Universal Construction Kit

"Ever wanted to connect your Legos and Tinkertoys together? Now you can — and much more. Announcing the Free Universal Construction Kit: a set of adapters for complete interoperability between 10 popular construction toys.

F.A.T. Lab and Sy-Lab are pleased to present the Free Universal Construction Kit: a matrix of nearly 80 adapter bricks that enable complete interoperability between ten* popular children's construction toys. By allowing any piece to join to any other, the Kit encourages totally new forms of intercourse between otherwise closed systems—enabling radically hybrid constructive play, the creation of previously impossible designs, and ultimately, more creative opportunities for kids. As with other grassroots interoperability remedies, the Free Universal Construction Kit implements proprietary protocols in order to provide a public service unmet—or unmeetable—by corporate interests.

The Free Universal Construction Kit offers adapters between Lego, Duplo, Fischertechnik, Gears! Gears! Gears!, K'Nex, Krinkles (Bristle Blocks), Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, Zome, and Zoob. Our adapters can be downloaded from Thingiverse.com and other sharing sites as a set of 3D models in .STL format, suitable for reproduction by personal manufacturing devices like the Makerbot (an inexpensive, open-source 3D printer)."

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TAGS

20123D printing • adapter brick • adapter bricks • adaptersagency of access and engagementbottom-up innovation • Bristle Blocks • building brick • childhood imagination • connector • construction set • construction system • construction toy • constructions set • disruptive innovationDIY • Duplo • Fischertechnik • freely available • freely downloadable • Gears Gears Gears • Golan Levingrassroots initiativehacktivismhybridityimpurityinteroperabilityinteroperable technologies • KNex • Krinkles • LEGO • Lincoln Logs • Makerbot • mash-upnew hybridityopen systems • personal manufacturing devices • Physibles • proprietary protocols • proprietary technologiesremix culturerethink boundaries • Shawn Sims • STUDIO for Creative Inquiry • Tinkertoys • toy • Universal Construction Kit • Zome • Zoo

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
18 JANUARY 2014

LEGO announces launch of THE SIMPSONS branded merchandise

"The LEGO Group today announced a new partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products to produce a construction set and licensed LEGO® minifigures inspired by the iconic television series, THE SIMPSONS. In addition, FOX is scheduled to air a special LEGO episode of THE SIMPSONS in May 2014 featuring Springfield and its cast of characters in LEGO form.

Scheduled to launch this February in LEGO stores and via the LEGO Shop at Home catalog and website, the construction set will recreate the iconic Simpsons family house in LEGO form. Also included in the LEGO and THE SIMPSONS construction set is the entire family: Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie along with neighbor Ned Flanders. A separate line of 16 LEGO THE SIMPSONS minifigures will launch in all mass toy retailers in May 2014."

(LEGO Group, 08 January 2014)

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2014 • Bart Simpson • branded merchandise • business partnership • cast of characters • characters with personalityconstruction setfamily housefigurine • Homer Simpson • iconic characters • iconic television series • LEGO • LEGO form • Lisa Simpson • Maggie Simpson • Marge Simpson • merchandise • minifigures • Ned Flanders • nuclear family • recreate favourite characters • recreationremediation • Springfield (fictional town) • The Simpsons (television)toy • toy retailer • Twentieth Century Fox

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
12 SEPTEMBER 2013

Phone Bloks: user customisation through modular design

"Phone components all sharing a common purpose. You may be wondering if is really possible to design and manufacture a modular blok phone cost effectively? We believe it is, and we are asking for your support so that you can be directly involved in making this project a reality. Check out the incredible ideas we're working on in the PhoneBloks video, and think about how this would change your future cell phone upgrade plans."

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2013block • blok phone • brickcell phonecomponent systemcrowdfundingcustomisable • customisation • Dave Hakken • design responsibilitydisposable consumptionflexible designs • interchangeable parts • KickstarterLEGOmodular designmodular structuremodular systemmodularity in designpartphone • Phone Bloks • phone upgrade • PhoneBloks • planned obsolescenceproduct designradical innovationrecombinantreconstructive modelreplacementsmartphonesocial enterprisespeculative designstart-up businesssustainable design principlestechnology innovationtransformable • upgrade • upgrade plans • user customisation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
02 JANUARY 2013

Facing ambiguity differently across design, business and technology

"team[s] of students of mixed disciplines worked together to understand and map a problem–space (identified by the client). They then defined a solution–space before focussing on a particular opportunity outcome. The range of projects included incremental innovation opportunities represented by the Lego and Hasbro projects through radical Philips work to truly disruptive work with Unilever. The studies confirmed stereotypical view points of how different disciplines may behave. They showed that design students were more (but not completely) comfortable with the ambiguous aspects associated with 'phase zero' problem–space exploration and early stage idea generation. They would only commit to a solution when time pressures dictated that this was essential in order to complete the project deliverables on time and they were happy to experiment with, and develop, new methods without a clear objective in mind. In contrast, the business students were uncomfortable with this ambiguity and were more readily able to come to terms with incremental innovation projects where a systematic approach could be directly linked to an end goal. The technologists, were more comfortable with the notion of the ambiguous approach leading to more radical innovation, but needed to wrap this in an analytical process that grounded experimentation. Meanwhile, the designers were unclear and unprepared to be precise when it came to committing to a business model. "

(Mark Bailey, 2010, p.42)

Bailey, M. (2010). "Working at the Edges". Networks, Art Design Media Subject Centre (ADM–HEA). Autumn 2010.

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2007ADM-HEAambiguityambiguity and uncertainty • ambiguous approach • analytical processapproaches to ambiguitybusinessbusiness modelclear objectivesclient needscollaboration • core competency • Cox Reviewdecision making • design outcome • design teamsdesign thinkingdisciplinary culturesdisciplinary knowledge • disruptive work • Dorothy Leonard-Barton • end goal • grounded experimentation • Hasbro • idea generationincremental innovationinnovation practice skillsinterdisciplinarityinterpretive perspective • learning cultures • LEGO • multidisciplinary design • multidisciplinary teamsNorthumbria Universityopen-ended process • pedagogical cultures • phase zero • Philips Researchproblem-solvingproblem-solving • problem-space • project deliverablesproject teamsradical innovationrequirements gatheringsolution-space • sub-disciplinary specialisation • systematic approach • T-shaped individuals • T-shaped people • T-shaped skillsthinking stylesUnileverworking methodsworking practices

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
10 FEBRUARY 2012

The Fox Is Black: a design community destination for creativity

"The Fox Is Black, formerly Kitsune Noir, was started in April of 2007 as a way of sharing interesting ideas with likeminded people. The blog has now become a staple in the design community as a destination for creativity and fresh ideas. Updated daily, the blog shares a melange of topics ranging from design, culture, music, and films. Every Wednesday we release a new desktop wallpaper on The Desktop Wallpaper Project, a way to decorate your computer background with the work of the best illustrators, designers and photographers in the world."

(Bobby Solomon)

Fig.1 Hans Andersson's "Time Twister" clock.

Fig.2 Fleet Foxes, animation by Sean Pecknold using illustrations by Stacey Rozich.

Fig.3 Lei Lei/Raydesign "My… My…".

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TAGS

2007animationblog • computer background • contemporary musiccool stuffcreativitycuriosity • decorate • design blogdesign communitydesigners • desktop wallpaper • Desktop Wallpaper Project • destination for creativity • ephemera • fresh ideas • graphic designideasillustrationillustrators • Kitsune Noir • LEGO • likeminded people • ludic • melange of topics • photographers • Raydesign • Sean Pecknold • sharing interesting ideas • Stacey Rozich • The Fox Is Black • updated daily • video artvisual culturevisual designvisual ideas • water calligraphy

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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