For decades, erector sets like Meccano, Tinkertoys, and K’Nex have helped kids engage in creative play, allowing them to flex their imaginations while acquiring design skills. Sunghyeop Seo and Sujeong Han of the South Korean design firm G280 riff on these toys in a kit of parts called Toniture–a portmanteau of “toy” and “furniture”–from which children can build chairs, play structures, abstract animals, and more.
“It gives children an opportunity to develop their imagination,” Seo writes in an email to Co.Design. “I used Meccano as a young child and it was a very special experience for me.”
Toniture, which was originally designed for a children’s activity center in South Korea called DD238, is composed of about 50 different modules including brackets, a light bulb and socket, and flat geometric shapes that can be joined together with screws–no tools required. Unlike a regular toy set and other furniture sets that glean inspiration from Meccano, these components are scaled to kids. From the parts, children can make whatever they desire and get a lesson in spatial awareness, too.
“The assembling process requires from children not only their hands but [their] whole body to create what’s in their imagination,” Seo writes. “Thanks to the life-size format in Toniture, children are able to really experience the relationship between object and space.”
While G280 doesn’t have plans to bring the idea to market right now, they’re open to exploring it. See the full series here.