By Tamar Zinguer, Associate Professor, Cooper Union
During the last two hundred years, architectural toys have echoed full-scale experimentations, reflecting stylistic inclinations and incorporating technological changes in their ‘systems of construction.’ Designed by adults for children, these toys—Froebel Blocks, Meccano, Erector Sets and others—have presented an intersection between generations and a meeting point between pedagogy and means of production. This lecture explores how lightness of building materials, modularity, systematization and greater versatility were parts of a new architectural language that the toys exemplified. In the intimacy of the domestic environment, architectural toys eradicated formal habits, reconceived visual orders and hence intimated notions of the modern.

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