richard elaver reinterprets rubber spatula in flexure toy set
 
richard elaver reinterprets rubber spatula in flexure toy set richard elaver reinterprets rubber spatula in flexure toy set
feb 12, 2014

richard elaver reinterprets rubber spatula in flexure toy set

richard elaver reinterprets rubber spatula in flexure toy set
all images courtesy of richard elaver

 

 

 

 

‘flexure’ is a toy set developed by north carolina-based designer and professor richard elaver that changes the way kids build and learn. the piece is based on mathematical principles and a rubber spatula that can easily be disassembled and reassembled. the flexible components can be used by children too young to have developed the necessary dexterity, strength, and precision for most playing blocks.

 

see ‘felxure’, the flexible wonder toy on its kickstarter page here!

 

 


‘flexure info’
video courtesy of richard elaver

 

 

from the initial concept, ‘flexure’ has evolved into a building set with six silicone connectors and three different stick lengths. CAD models and a series of of prototypes using 3D printing and rubber molds were developed to refine the design. the main goal was to maintain the intuitive simplicity for putting parts together, and to guide the builder towards creating a variety of structures through specific geometric shapes.

 

 


the six connectors that make up the flexure building set

 

 

the pieces were designed based on mathematical principles, allowing children to build geometric models like dodecahedra, or simple molecular models. children engage with the toy for very different reasons – playing with the colors, squishy texture, suction cups, and easy assembly. without needing any instructions, it is easy enough for them to just start picking up the parts and building.

 

 


a double dodecahedron made with flexure

 

 

the parts allow one to make structures that bounce, wiggle, and move. the connectors are made of a flexible food-safe silicone and are joined together with a simple force-fit. this high degree of adaptability enables an easy construction: if two pieces don’t line up, the whole thing can be flexed to make them align. ‘flexure’ bends to create ever-expanding possibilities, and reduces the level of frustration for young builders.

 

 


a methane molecure made with flexure

 


opening the flexure set up in a classroom

 


group building with flexure toy

 


designer, richard elaver during user testing

 


playful and safe, the flexure structures are wearable

 


flexure cover image

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    design news

    ×
    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    501,538 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample