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Stories from the world of paper

Bloxes – building blocks for grownups

2015-06-11 - Two generations of the Raskin family from California have already made their mark on software and hardware development at Apple and Google. But the family also has another major passion: the development of building blocks.

The late Jef Raskin, doctor of mathematics, philosopher, computer scientist and developer of the Apple Macintosh, loved to make cuboids, boxes and building structures out of paper. In the 1970s, he came up with the idea of producing special building blocks made of wood. However, they were huge and therefore heavy to transport. At a later date Jef’s son Aza Raskin took up the idea again. Unlike his father he wanted to make the blocks light but very strong. They should also be fast and easy to transport, set up and reconfigure. In the end, Aza opted for corrugated cardboard, because it is a light, strong and sustainable construction material.
"Users do not care about what is inside the box, as long as the box does what they need done."
Jef Raskin
Bloxes are Do-it-yourself building blocks which need to be build together at first.
The name Bloxes is a combination of the terms “blocks” and “boxes”. The principle and construction method are simple yet ingenious. Working on the DIY principle, the Bloxes first have to be put into their actual (cuboid) shape. This is done by folding and interlocking six pre-punched corrugated cardboard sheets according to the instructions. It takes just a few minutes to complete the first Blox. Bloxes work a bit like Lego bricks. They have uniform indentations on the top, allowing several Bloxes to be firmly connected with one another. This enables different objects to be created quickly and easily. It is not surprising that the Bloxes are being snapped up by people who like to give free rein to their creativity. Aza Raskin himself was so passionate about the sustainability of his invention that he fitted out his office at Google with a desk and room dividers made of Bloxes. When his co-workers saw the brilliant furniture they too started to use the Bloxes to make all sorts of objects. See more here.
Bloxes are multifaceted as seating, shelf or even table.
A short time later, other companies also began to use the innovative building blocks. Bloxes quickly became a success as seating at trade fair booths, room dividers in offices or as a feature of marketing campaigns. In the meantime, however, they are not just popular with marketing professionals and event managers, but also with a large number of private individuals who use them as art installations in their homes.//