Is there an architect in the U.S. who didn't cut his or her designer's teeth on toy building sets as a child? Okay, there probably are a few—but toys like LEGO building blocks, Lincoln Logs, Erector Sets, and even less regular building materials (cardboard boxes, blankets, couch cushions) probably played a key role in the childhoods of most architects, builders, and engineers. The best educational toys activate a child's imagination and open her eyes to a world of possibilities never before glimpsed. Building sets have the added benefit of helping develop her problem-solving skills—an asset for any future building or design professional.
The significance of such play in developing creativity and lifelong learning skills are the topics of a lecture by toy designer Karen Hewitt at the Washington, D.C., National Building Museum on March 3, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. The president of Learning Materials Workshop, Hewitt will discuss how architectural toys like those mentioned above create a bridge between the physical world and the imagined world for children and adults. The lecture is designed to accompany a current exhibition at the National Building Museum of architect-trained LEGO Certified Professional Adam Reed Tucker's LEGO buildings. The exhibit will be open free of charge March 3 from 5:30 p.m. until museum closing.
To attend this Thursday's lecture, prepaid registration is required. Members and students pay $12, non-members pay $20. Professionals may earn 1.5 AIA Learning Units. Visit the National Building Museum's website to register and for more details.--S.L.M.