Blockhuk by Polyomino 3

Project Name: Blockhuk
Design Team: Jingbo Yan, Dechen Zeng, Wansu Zhang, Xinran Ding
Instructor: Jose Sanchez
Studio: Polyomino 3, University of Southern California School of Architecture

this post was originally published on gooood

“Blockhuk” is a crowd-sourcing system, a sort of alternative to LEGO toys, made up of a massive population of individual wooden units. Users can participate in the design process in a bottom-up, open source construction process.

As opposed to the variable units described in a parametric model, “Blockhuk” is developed by just by one type of unit. By specifying the unit’s quantity, the project attempts to “re-consider serial repetition in combinatorics” and re-define mass production by various assembly-types. The resulting geometry creates a data structure for a plethora of design variations.

The geometrical properties of the unit allow them to hook up with each other to generate numerous types of aggregations, which Christopher Alexander would call “Pattern Language”: with the geometrical hierarchy of letters, words, sentences and paragraphs, developed by each user in the crowd-sourced community.

Also, the project further develops the system in the game engine “Unity3D”, where the algorithmic powers of both computers and human intuition can work together to simultaneously generate a huge amount of data in a very short amount of time, what J.C.R. would call “Man-Computer Symbiosis”.