A few weeks ago in Haarlem, we came across Brikkon in a toy store. Basically they’re wooden templates, laser cutted so that the edges fit with Lego bricks. You can add bricks to e.g. a wooden tree, building a treehut, or adding walls to a tower to create a castle. They looked like fun, so we bought one for Y as a gift for the start of the new school year.
We see and think differently with our hands than with our eyes and heads. Whenever we make something tangible it has the potential to change our perspective.
This became tangible again for me last December when I participated in Wiro Kuiper’s ‘Lego serious play’ workshop. Handling lego stones, seeing something take shape in your hands, involves a different part of your brain while thinking on questions like “what is it that I do for clients?” as depicted in the pic below. (Add your guess as to what it means in the comments 😉 )
Since that workshop I have been musing about how ‘making something tangible’ could play a role in more of my work situations. Without much progress.
Tangible statistics, MAKE.opendata.ch
Recently we acquired a 3D printer at home. Previously I have encountered 3d printing ear hangers from visualized statistics based on open data (shown above), and I discussed that idea with Elmine. She, for a little side project of her, printed the two items below.
They are both printed statistics: the small one is the number of Germans in the Dutch border region, and the bigger one the number of Dutch in the German border region (data source). Each by itself does not mean much to me. But in combination they are very interesting again: they make differences in amount tangible. You can feel the difference when you take the objects in your hands. Tangible infographics as it were.
Where could I apply that? And also, how to overcome my reluctance to make things tangible like this early / quickly as part of my own exploration (I tend to keep everything in text or in my head)?