What we found today: August 30th, 2012

by Chad Sansing

Lego letterpress

Lego letterpress

  • Materiality aside, designing and coding webpages attentively reminds me of letterpress in a way that word processing does not. I think one of my favorite “identifying bias” lessons was helping kids make Hunger Games and House of the Scorpion letter-press propaganda posters for the classroom using Lego plates. But what we’re really here for is Anaïs Nin’s account of letter press printing as shared on Brain Pickings.

  • I dig these Sifteo interactive cubes (found on the Wired Design blog). I described a similar idea a few years ago at a meeting; I imagined a series of tablets communicating with one another during a multiplayer game that showed a map across all of the client tablets when they were placed together to create an ad-hoc gaming table – or during a learning activity that showed how a creek flowed into a pond and impacted its ecosystem when the tablets were arranged in accordingly. When players split up, each tablet carried away a tiny version of the same map and game or activity. I’m excited to see where these go. Games surfaces that creep towards one another?

  • Public education moves so slowly. We could recapture the public imagination in an instant if we gave up just a little bit of time every day to let kids of all ages play, create, and practice design, entrepreneurship, and gifting with 3D printing. Here is “Watch Your Back, Hasbro, 3D-Printed Games Have Arrived” – again from the Wired Design blog. I say, watch your back, schools, more meaningful learning has arrived/never left. The article includes a cool application of Tinkercad which I need to show kids for their workspace and badge designing tasks. Also, we need our own custom Catan tiles.

  • BoingBoing points us toward Amanda Visell’s wooden Star Wars figures (I’m partial to the detailing on Darth Vader). We recycle a lot of boxes into canvases and room fixtures each year (having to pack our rooms before summer vacation and to unpack them when we return to school). It would be great to collect scrap wood for a project like this to make figures for story-telling kids’ works and to study design and remix – the figures and packaging would be great to compare and contrast against the originals. I especially like how Visell’s boxes reference the typography and color of the original figures’ blister-pack backings.

  • No idea how we’re going to work SpaceChem into class this year, but we will. I’m no good at playing it, even though I love it. Time to ask the kids. Multi-media chemical compound RAFT stories? Chemical stencil art? Expository writing on how silk screening works before we find, build, or buy a frame?