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February 14, 2007

Whoa, Kid-Sized Tetris


First off, that Play+Soft series of Reggio Emilia-inspired playroom furniture posted here a couple of weeks ago? Tip of the iceberg. Their catalogue is full of incredible, fun-looking, and well-thought-out designs. [It's for sale here for $22.]

Play+Soft was developed by Maurizio Fontanilli in collaboration with Reggio Children, and I'll post excerpts below from the extensive list of qualities that informed the 4+year, pedagogy-driven design process. But obviously, any process that results in giant, kid-sized Tetris shapes--in both 2-D and 3-D--is on the right track. The cube unit in those 3-D ones is 25cm, btw.

Play+Soft Tetris-like blocks, designer: Harri Koskinen


Play+Soft 3-D Forms, designer: ZPZ Partners


From the Play+Soft catalogue [emphasis original]:

PLAY+SOFT aims to enrich the material complexity and variety of environments for young children, introducing pliability, softness, and elasticity in places that are often composed of few materials, all of them hard. A rich material landscape supports children in their learning adventure and in constructing their identities, helping them to hone their sensory perceptions and develop synesthetic abilities.

PLAY+SOFT introduces a range of colors that are sunny and bright, though with medium saturation, that play on various shades. The colors are designed to be mixed and matched or used in a single chromatic range, with an overtone effect. Our aim is to enrich the children's chromatic landscape and provide colors that are not banal, far from the simplified world of red-yellow-blue, with confidence in a competent child who has a thousand languages.

soft minimal
PLAY+SOFT comprises furnishings that are simple and linear yet soft to the touch, joining the rectlinear or in any case planar lines of the design of the objects with a soft consistency to create an effect of contrasts, "sweet and sour", hybrid, which deepens the complexity of the sensory landscape.

PLAY+SOFT proposes soft furnishings that carry out functions normally provided by traditional furniture, introducing the concept of a "similar but not equal" substitute. The idea is to have the possibility to use soft elements to experiment with activities that are generally carried out using "hard" furnishings, and this also causes a change in the activity itself.


I just typed all that in. No cut-n-paste is like having to get up to change the channel.

Play+Soft is distributed by StudioUK... [studiouk.net]
...and was developed by Maurizio Fontanilli in collaboration with Reggio Children [zerosei.comune.re.it]
Previously: Play Plus Soft: A Playroom With A View
Related: Someone should tell those Cuusatsu Seikatsu dudes that their Tetris Couch idea is done.

posted February 14, 2007 9:31 AM | add to del.icio.us | digg this


I've been looking for something exactly like this for the kid's room for a while. But of course it's probably impossible to find in the States and/or is ridiculously expensive...

posted by: Chimay at February 14, 2007 1:02 PM

Here's an alternative, albeit not as 'designer' as these.

Parents Magazine Block Party Architecture Set

We actually found the architect set at a target store for $124.00 our son loves them.

posted by: Chris at February 15, 2007 9:48 AM

LOVE these!
i briefly worked at spectrum holobyte (maker of tetris)

posted by: mod*mom at February 26, 2007 5:54 PM
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