Design Blog

Image of a Tectonic Bison Family - a bison cow and calf walking together

Inspired by All Of The Bison

Interesting bison facts that influenced their Tectonic Toy namesake: Inspired in part by the current exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah. The exhibit is called Yellowstone Invisible Boundaries, occurring from June 29, 2019 to September 15, 2019. It is focused on the park’s migratory animals impacts on their lives from within and outside the Park boundaries....

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Image of a boy cutting wood on a scroll saw.  The boy is wearing red safety goggles, a respirator, and hearing protection

Five simple ideas for building your own toys

Looking for ways to spend creative and educational time with your kids? I build toys with my son, mostly for fun, but I like that it gives him exposure to designing and making. Sometimes people ask me how to approach building toys with their kids. I have a simple answer: have your kid make a drawing of the toy, then work with them to build it…This blog post outlines a more detailed process: Start by having your kid make a drawing of what they want to build. DO NOT DRAW IT FOR THEM. If they aren't sure what they want to build, prompt them:...

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Geared engineering system for Tectonic Dragonfly mechanism

What an Insect Can Teach You About Mechanics

Three engineering systems in Tectonic Toy Insects that facilitate STEaM education. STEaM is an approach to education which integrates Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics for guiding a student's inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The process is for a student to engage in observation, questioning, self-guided discovery, problem-solving, and synthesis into a creative process. Although STEaM is generally a curriculum within a classroom, we believe that toys at home can promote this type of education without having to be a formal teaching instrument. Tectonic Toys are a fun way to promote education and discovery surrounding different engineering systems, each allowing multiple levels...

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An image showing the Salt Lake City and County Building in the background and a travel sketch by Eric Jacoby of the same composition

How to Do a Travel Sketch

Sketching is a deep part of me - as essential to myself as my right hand. Not many people see my sketchbooks, but once in a while someone will one and ask for pointers or drawing lessons. This blog post is a travel sketch lesson and case study I did as a tourist in my own hometown - a step by step instructional documentation of my sketch process for a building I’ve been meaning to sketch for years....

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