multiblocksby Brad Singley
- the story
UncommonGoods is proud to introduce the winner of our first ever YouGoods contest: MultiBlocks!
Designed by Brad Singley, these blocks were inspired by his father, a civil engineer who built toys for his children.
"I can still remember the frustration of playing with building blocks as a young child," Brad says. "I wanted to build BIG, but it was impossible to make a skyscraper out of triangles, semicircles, cylinders, and small cubes."
Brad's prayers were answered when his father made him a set of wooden square and rectangular cubes in four different lengths. Many years later and with children of his own, Brad recreated his favorite toy, updating it to include numbers and increments to encourage both mathematical and creative thinking.
Made in Michigan from scraps of basswood leftover from other products, these blocks feature laser-etched numbers and increments and are sanded to a satiny smooth finish. Each set of 42 blocks comes with six of the 8-blocks, twelve of the 4-blocks, eight of the 2-blocks, and sixteen of the 1-blocks.
Basswood is a local, renewable wood that is sustainably grown and harvested on industry land in Michigan. Each set of blocks arrives in a recycled cotton storage bag made from 80% Ecotec(tm) (a blended cotton yarn produced from the excess fabric of newly made clothing) and 20% Bottle Bag(tm) (material made from 100% recycled soda bottles).
Click here to see all blocks.
Exclusively at UncommonGoods.
- Item ID
- Made from
- recycled cotton, basswood
- 15" L x 13.5" W x 3" H; 42 blocks
- Ages 3 and up. Recycled cotton storage bag, included with each set of blocks, is not a toy and is intended for use by adults only. Hand wash cold. Line dry.
- the maker
Brad Singley grew up in Bishop, California -- a small town in the eastern Sierra Nevada. Living in such a scenic location, he developed a love of painting the dramatic landscapes in his own backyard.
He studied civil and environmental engineering at Brigham Young University, but he never strayed too far from art and design. While at school, Brad worked as a multimedia consultant where he created short videos and animations for the web. For his master's thesis, Brad created an instructional videogame for UNESCO, which won local and national awards.
Brad credits his wife Meg for introducing him to the world of modern design. He enjoys studying the works of mid-century designers such as Isamu Nochuchi, George Nelson, Alvar Aalto, Eero Saarinen, and Ray and Charles Eames.
"These guys blurred the lines between mathematics and art in a way that I find very inspiring," Brad says.
As for the MultiBlocks, Brad wanted to give his kids every opportunity to develop their analytical and creative skills, so he built them a set of simple wooden blocks.
"There are hundreds of cheap plastic toys on the market, but I think we can learn a lot from the minimalism of the mid-century modernists."
Brad lives in Seattle with his wife and three children. He loves design, Ben and Jerry's and Ray and Charles Eames.
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- q & a