Where Denmark has Lego, Japan has 'tsumiki'. Meaning 'wooden blocks' in Japanese, Tsumiki is also the name of the new project that has just been launched by internationally acclaimed, Tokyo based architect Kengo Kuma, who is behind this new set of playful wooden blocks for children of all ages.
'I have loved tsumiki my whole life, ever since I was a young boy,' says Kuma. 'And my dream came true, I designed tsumiki myself, the sort which hadn't existed before.' The set is 'not a heavy, masonry kind of wood block, but a light, transparent system just like what you see in traditional Japanese architecture', continues the architect.
Known for his tireless explorations of timber construction, which have resulted in striking wood crafted works such as the Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center and the Daiwa Computing Research Building, Kuma is passionate about the age-old building material. This new foray into scaled wood construction is sure to bring out the child – and the architect – in everyone. Made of Japanese cedar wood, the elements can be combined and stacked to create small buildings and sculptures.
Created in collaboration with musician Ryuichi Sakamoto and his forest conservation organisation More Trees, this architectural game can be used to create structures of all shapes and sizes - as well as raise awareness about the environmental problems caused by the dangerous deforestation on our planet.