Design Blog

Bee  blueprint

An Architectural Process for a Toy Bee

The Tectonic Toy Bee Design Process When we set out to design a bee, we decided that we wanted our Bee Toy to have interesting mechanics and a duality of simplicity and complexity. We didn’t want it to look mean (like a wasp), or worse: cute. We took some time studying different bees.  We researched many diagrams and drawings, but Eric was happy to stumble across this amazing specimen on a hiking trail.   The concept for our toy bee was for the wings to flap when the abdomen (stinger) is pulled by using mechanics which would invoke curiosity and expose the moving components -...

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four square image: upper left shows the various layers of sawdust in a table saw. Upper right shows the compounded layers of a rock formation in southern Utah, Lower left shows the compounded layers of the Strata Chair. Lower right shows a modern chair

History of Strata

How the stratified layers of Southern Utah influenced our Strata Chair Layers can tell the story of time. For example, the upper left image shows various layers that individually identify several recent projects in our workshop - the white layer occurred when we ran some foam insulation through our table saw. The time-frame of layers may be as ephemeral as our quick run of foam cutting - and sometimes layers can illustrate a much longer period of time. The word Strata connotes multi-million year epochs – consisting of geologic rock layers created by time and pressure. My favorite example of strata is the...

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de-constructed diagram of tectonic

What We Mean by Tectonic

I recall a moment in architecture school when a professor succinctly pointed out that a diagram is an “illustration of a concept.” Drawing objects isn't too hard, but illustrating a concept is always evasive. Think of playing Pictionary: It’s generally not a problem to quickly draw something (a noun) that already has imagery associated with it, say a bicycle, or an apple. But now try something more abstract; happiness, or simple, or complex. 

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