Huggable high-rises? Chicagoans look to kickstart a line of plush skyscraper replicas

squeeable skylines

Skyscrapers are usually admired for their mighty feats of structural engineering. Respect though you might the elegance with which Chicago’s Willis Tower lifts steel and glass 1,451 feet into the sky, you probably wouldn’t want to nuzzle it.

But a Chicago startup is out to change that.

“Urban Fold” Paper City Creator Set Puts Twist on Traditional Building Blocks

City Terrain, National
Friday, November 22, 2013
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(Courtesy Urban Fold)

Urban Fold caters to builders of all ages with an city planning toy entirely of paper. (Courtesy Urban Fold)

In a hybrid of LEGO and origami, Paper Punk has created their first boxed set of punch-and-fold, customizable paper building blocks. Urban Fold is the California-based company’s newest creation by founder Grace Hawthorne, a designer, author, and artist from San Francisco who currently teaches at Stanford University’s d.school (Institute of Design). The set gives builders the opportunity to create a paper city in punchy colors and patterns, inspired by Berlin graffiti and the photography of Matthias Heiderich.

Continue Reading After the Jump.

Zaha Hadid’s Miniature House Draws a Large Price Tag for Charity Auction

International
Friday, November 15, 2013
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(Courtesy A Dolls' House)

This Must Be the Place by Zaha Hadid Architects Racked Up at Large Price Tag for Charity Auction. (Courtesy A Dolls’ House)

Twenty of the world’s biggest architects were asked to design on quite a small scale last month. Cathedral Group commissioned architect-designed dollhouses for a charity auction to benefit KIDS, a United Kingdom-based organization supporting disabled children. A Dolls’ House sold the interesting toys a few days ago at Bonhams in London and Zaha Hadid’s 30-inch-by-30-inch, puzzle-like home, This Must Be the Place, received the night’s highest bid: $22,500.

Continue Reading After the Jump.

Starchitects Go Miniature: 20 UK Architects Design Unique Dollhouses for Charity

International
Thursday, October 10, 2013
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Electra House by David Adjaye and Associates and Chris Ofili (Courtesy

Electra House by David Adjaye and Associates and Artist Chris Ofili Has a Continuous Ground Floor for Indoor/Outdoor Accessibility. (Courtesy A Doll’s House)

Children are the focus of twenty new designs by some of the United Kingdom’s top architects. A Dolls’ House, launched by UK property redevelopment firm Cathedral Group, invited architects like Zaha Hadid, David Adjaye, and Alford Hall Monaghan Morris to scale down their architectural feats to a miniature size, each creating a dollhouse of innovative design for auction at Bonhams next month.

View all the dollhouse designs after the jump.

On View> MoMA presents Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900–2000

East
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
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Ladislav Sutnar's Prototype for Build the Town Building Blocks, 1940-43. (Courtesy MoMA)

Ladislav Sutnar’s Prototype for Build the Town Building Blocks, 1940-43. (Courtesy MoMA)

Century of the Child
Museum of Modern Art
New York
11 West 53rd Street
Through November 5

Is design for grown ups? Hardly. While a child’s own designs might be limited to block towers or crayon masterpieces, design touches nearly every part of early life. Children use toys, wear clothing, play in playgrounds, use furniture, and sit in classrooms, all of which are created specifically for them. Opening at the Museum of Modern Art, Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900–2000 surveys the material world constructed for the child over the 20th Century. Visions of children and how design has followed or shaped their perceptions over the past century are considered in the exhibition. Take Frederich Froebel, whose famous toys (a gift box edition, pictured below) were favorites of Frank Lloyd Wright as a child. Froebel designed his blocks to be given in a sequence, educating children as they learned and matured over time. The exhibition identifies and merges the many facets of design that consider children, presenting these products together and revealing the ideas and ambitions of the designers who created them.

More images after the jump.

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Eavesdrop NY 04

Eavesdroplet
Monday, March 8, 2010
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Will we ever see an Architect Barbie? (Courtesy Buffalo News)

VALLEY OF THE DOLL
With either mock or earnest outrage (hard to tell), Charles Linn, deputy editor of Architectural Record, alerted Eavesdrop to an injustice that’s resonating throughout the profession. Barbie will never be an architect. It’s true, a lot of dolls aren’t architects, presumably by choice, but Barbie has, for all intents and purposes, been banned from three years of sleepless, pore-clogging charrettes and humiliating juries. Here’s what happened. Mattel, Barbie’s baby daddy, had an online contest called “I Can Be” to determine the next Career Barbie. Voters were asked to choose from a list of five nominees: environmentalist, surgeon, news anchor, computer engineer, and architect. And the winners are: news anchor and computer engineer. Read More

LEGO My Falling Water

Other
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
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Perhaps we were too busy checking out the jaw-dropping FLW retrospective at the aforementioned museum to notice, but two weeks ago, LEGO and the Wright Foundation announced they would launch two new, rather amazing sets to honor the architect’s centennial, part of a new Architecture line your LEGO-obsessed editors were heretofore also ignorant of. Read More

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