Project Bloks

  • Hana Tanimura
  • Mary Leonard
Project Bloks is a research project that aims to create an open hardware platform to help developers, designers, and researchers build the next generation of tangible programming experiences for kids.
We’ve created three key hardware elements: Base Boards, the Brain Board, and Pucks. Together, these elements form a reconfigurable system for controlling hardware devices like robots, toys, or IoT devices. They can also be used to control applications on a computer or tablet.
The boards can be covered with any material or form you like and arranged in different ways, to create very different experiences. Here are some ideas for what you could create using the system, prototyped in paper:
We worked with IDEO to create a reference device, called the Coding Kit. It teaches kids the basic concepts of code by allowing them to put code bricks together to create a set of instructions that can be sent to control connected toys and devices. Watch this film to find out more:
Pucks are easy to create, for example by cutting paper, or 3D printing the form and then drawing the capacitive signature with conductive ink. This enables an infinite number of commands to be easily made on the fly by anyone.
Project Bloks is still in active research. To further inform the development of the project, we’ll be conducting more research over the course of the summer into the opportunities for tangible programming and the Bloks platform.

Creative agency: Google Creative Lab London
Creatives (alphabetical): Graeme Hall Hana Tanimura Jayme Goldstein João Wilbert Justin Li Zebedee Pedersen
Design and art direction: Hana Tanimura
Design support (alphabetical): Mary Leonard Sofía Clausse
Film and animation (alphabetical): Across the Pond Doug Hindson Justin Li Max McCabe Nearly Normal Th1ng
Producers (alphabetical): Alex de Castro Lou Trethewey Natalie Goburdhun
Website build: Potato Sam Honigstein
Photography: Robert Couto
Project partners (alphabetical): IDEO Paulo Blikstein (Stanford) Research at Google

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