In this exploration, I took the folding pattern of a flexicube and modified it to create an engaging and durable object that encourages creativity and spatial reasoning in children.
Creating a Space to Inhabit
Certain spaces invite us to inhabit them through their proportion and sense of enclosure. By opening up and arranging the base unit of the flexicube, I was able to create habitable spaces that transform throughout the folding process.
The individual units are assembled together into the whole using velcro. The ability to take it apart makes it easier to transport as well as invites the users to reconfigure the object in creative ways.
Smaller children may simply enjoy inhabiting the transforming space while older children accept the challenge of learning the movement patterns and inventing new combinations.
Materials Determine Outcome
An appropriate material choice for this object needed to strike a balance between soft and durable, light and structural. This minimizes risk of injury and allows users to easily manipulate the object.
The hinge mechanism is a compliant membrane made of vinyl Herculite. Having the hinge incorporated into the material gives an advantage of fewer, softer parts and some flexibility in motion.
This flexibility allows us to execute the folding motions of non-joined, converging axes without achieving the mathematical and structural precision required by other materials and methods.