9-1 | Architecture in Play: Intimations of Modernism in Architectural Toys

Book Review

Architecture in Play: Intimations of Modernism in Architectural Toys

Tamar Zinguer
Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press. 2015. Acknowledgments, notes, illustration credits, and index. 252 pp. $49.50 cloth. ISBN: 9780813937724

by Frederika Eilers

First Paragraph:

Several architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Buckminster Fuller, and Charles and Ray Eames, have credited Friedrich Froebel and his Kindergarten Gifts with their professional pursuits. As such, what formative influences do toys possess? Responding to this query, Professor of Architecture at Cooper Union Tamar Zinguer seeks answers in her book Architecture in Play. Defining construc-tion toys as “kits consisting of individual parts that can be assembled into some-thing larger” (p. 7), she confirms that they imitate as well as intimate architecture—a term suggested by Anthony Vidler, Profes-sor and Dean of the School of Architec-ture at Cooper Union. More than teaching historical or contemporary architectures, playing with these artifacts teaches chil-dren who tinker with blocks a process of experimentation familiar to designers.