UncommonGoods is proud to announce the winner of our first YouGoods product design contest – Brad Singley and his amazing MultiBlocks!
With inspiration from his father, a civil engineer who built toys for his children, Brad Singley decided to pass on the love for analytical and creative thinking by building simple, fun wooden blocks.
“I can still remember the frustration of playing with building blocks as a young child,” Brad says. “I wanted to build BIG, but it was impossible to make a skyscraper out of triangles, semicircles, cylinders, and small cubes. When I was five years old, my dad made me a set of building blocks out of some lumber scraps from our garage. He cut them into four sizes. The smallest blocks were 1.5” cubes, and the others came in lengths of 3”, 6”, and 12”. Finally I had some dimensional lumber! I played with those blocks more than any other toy from my childhood.
“In college, while sitting in structural engineering classes, it occurred to me how many engineering concepts I had learned as a child from playing with my blocks. Cantilever beams, moment arms, centers of rotation, friction forces, etc., were all fancy names for what I had learned from playing with my blocks.
“I decided to make a set of blocks for my daughter, and she has been playing with them since before she could talk. At age four, she recognized that if she lined up 8 of the smallest blocks, they were the same length as 1 of the longest blocks. We started referring to the different sizes as ‘ones, twos, fours, and eights.’ I thought it would be helpful to route these numbers into the side of the blocks with notches at each unit increment.”
Brad lives in Seattle with his wife and three children. He loves design, Ben and Jerry’s and Ray and Charles Eames (I tried to get some juicy information out of him and that’s all he would reveal when I asked about celeb crushes). Last week he and his wife Meg flew to NYC to tour the city, eat some delicious…albeit gluten-free food, see some beautiful sites and finalize his deal with UncommonGoods. It was exciting to meet the designer, hear the back story of the blocks and see the contest come full-circle. We are thrilled to announce that MultiBlocks will be hitting the site soon! Click here to see the MultiBlocks (previously known as Brainy Blocks) in action – Brad has built some pretty cool stuff with them!