Tsumiki Are Legos Reimagined Using Japanese Design Principles

January 20, 2016

We can’t deny that we’re big fans of LEGO bricks here at 6sqft. They incite within us welcomed nostalgia for a simpler time when our love for design and architecture was just budding. However, now that our taste has evolved we can see how the brightly colored squares may not be complementary to a more adult interior aesthetic. The folks at the Tokyo architecture firm Kengo Kumo and Associates agree and have reimagined the classic LEGO with a minimalist Japanese twist. Their new blocks, also known as Tsumiki, are shaped like an inverted V and made from wood certified by the Forest Stewardship.

Lego, Kengo Kumo and Associates, Tsumiki

Lego, Kengo Kumo and Associates, Tsumiki

The pieces interlock via triangular notches in the legs, allowing for LEGO-like versatility. The word Tsumiki translates directly to “blocks” and plays off the traditional version of the toy that includes cubical, cylindrical, or pyramid-shaped pieces that latch together. Kumo selected the triangular V because of the strength the shape provides.

Lego, Kengo Kumo and Associates, Tsumiki

Far more than LEGOs, the minimalist blocks are in line with the principals of contemporary Japanese architecture, boasting a mix of natural material, spatial economy, and simplicity of design. They’re the perfect tool-toy to inspire the next generation of architects and can be purchased for about $70 a kit.

See more work from Kengo Kumo and Associates here.


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