Tsumiki - Photo by Ikunori Yamamoto, courtesy of Kengo Kuma Architects.

Tsumiki – Photo by Ikunori Yamamoto, courtesy of Kengo Kuma Architects.

If Copenhagen has Lego, Tokyo responds with Tsumiki. Japanese reknown architect Kengo Kuma teamed with musician Ryuichi Sakamoto to present a simple and interactive game composed of wooden bocks (tsumiki in Japanese) that can be stacked to create sustainable architectures.

Photo by Ikunori Yamamoto, courtesy of Kengo Kuma Architects.

Photo by Ikunori Yamamoto, courtesy of Kengo Kuma Architects.

The project has also a responsible imprint as it has been created in collaboration with More Trees, the forest conservation organization promoted by the Academy Award composer.


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Photo by Ikunori Yamamoto, courtesy of Kengo Kuma Architects.

Photo by Ikunori Yamamoto, courtesy of Kengo Kuma Architects.

“I have loved tsumiki my whole life, ever since I was a young boy. With this project my dream came true as I designed tsumiki myself, the sort which hadn’t existed before” said Kengo Kuma.

Photo by Ikunori Yamamoto, courtesy of Kengo Kuma Architects.

Photo by Ikunori Yamamoto, courtesy of Kengo Kuma Architects.

Each V-shaped piece comes in cedar wood that is certified by FSC – Forest Stewardship Council, and it is composed of two symmetric rectangular parts with a V indent at both ends.

Photo by Ikunori Yamamoto, courtesy of Kengo Kuma Architects.

Photo by Ikunori Yamamoto, courtesy of Kengo Kuma Architects.

According to Japanese traditional architecture, every single unit can be stacked on top of others and arranged to give shape to solid structures without the use of nails and bolts.


RELATED STORY: Japanese Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015 combined ancient building techniques with digital tecnologies without using any metal part at all. 

Photo by Ikunori Yamamoto, courtesy of Kengo Kuma Architects.

Photo by Ikunori Yamamoto, courtesy of Kengo Kuma Architects.

Tsumiki comes in sets of 7,  12 or 22 pieces. The design game debuted at Tokyo Design Week with an open-to-the-public and out-of-scale tsumiki installation in Mid-Town.

Photo by Ikunori Yamamoto, courtesy of Kengo Kuma Architects.

Photo by Ikunori Yamamoto, courtesy of Kengo Kuma Architects.

A pyramid, a circle of pieces a kid could snake through and smaller pieces to play with allowed youngsters to interact with each others and free their in-bud architectural imprint.

Tsumiki Japanese Lego by Kengo Kuma
Tsumiki Japanese Lego by Kengo Kuma
Tsumiki Japanese Lego by Kengo Kuma
Tsumiki Japanese Lego by Kengo Kuma

MoreTrees organization is a global initiative to plant more trees. Ryuichi Sakamoto together with other founders committed to environmental problems and peace activities through various media.

Photo by Ikunori Yamamoto, courtesy of Kengo Kuma Architects.

Photo by Ikunori Yamamoto, courtesy of Kengo Kuma Architects.


RELATED STORY: Poets and warriors from ancient Japan inspire mobile tea rooms by Kengo Kuma at DesignMiami/ 2015 for gallery Philippe Gravier.

Photo by Ikunori Yamamoto, courtesy of Kengo Kuma Architects.

Photo by Ikunori Yamamoto, courtesy of Kengo Kuma Architects.