Unlike Lego’s plastic bricks, the triangular Tsumiki—Japanese for building blocks—are made entirely from sustainably sourced wood. Two chevron-shaped cutouts on each Tsumiki leg make it easy for the pieces to slot together. The blocks can be stacked and arranged in a variety of configurations, including pyramids, animals, and flowers. “I have loved tsumiki my whole life, ever since I was a young boy,” said Kuma, 61, according to Dezeen. “And my dream came true, I designed tsumiki myself, the sort which hadn’t existed before.”
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Kengo Kuma & Associates also collaborated with the more trees forest conservation group on the Tsumiki Pavilion, which recreates the building blocks on a large scale. The temporary installation was displayed at Tokyo Midtown’s DESIGN TOUCH event. More Trees is currently selling the Tsumiki kit online in packs of 13 for around $74 USD.
+ Kengo Kuma & Associates
Images via Kengo Kuma & Associates, © Ikunori Yamamoto