June 6, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra
I’m proud to say that as a kid – and to this day, as a big kid – I loved LEGOs. Untold hours of my youth were spent laboring over colorful bricks as my mom would look on in horror while I cast aside the directions to whichever set I had demanded she buy for me, often just so I could get my hands on one or two special pieces needed to complete a model of my own design. If ever I did wind up constructing the prescribed set, it would more often than not be promptly deconstructed in favor of something more original. I was proud of my brickwork and I think it made an impression on me as I grew up. LEGOs fed a fascination in me for building and taking apart, in knowing how things worked and trying to make something better, or at least more awesome and with more lasers. I think that sort of fascination lives in every kid, of every race, religion or gender, but it’s too seldom nurtured by creativity-engaging toys. Barbie might tell girls they can be president, but what about the girl who wants to build the next Golden Gate, or solve tomorrow’s energy crisis? It’s not as though LEGOs are a strictly no-girls-allowed affair, but we he-men have that market pretty much cornered. Now, though, today’s project is giving little boys reason to be jealous of their sisters’ toys.
Roominate is a toy for the next generation of architects, engineers, artists, innovators and visionaries – a generation that’s far less of a boys’ club than ever before.
Roominate is a kit of wooden building pieces and circuit components with which a child can use her creativity to design, build, wire, and decorate her own unique interactive room.
AND, the rooms are attachable and stackable, enabling girls to build and design expandable structures. The pieces are made to be simple and intuitive so as to allow a girl to explore and discover on her own.
I never thought I’d want a dollhouse, but Roominate really is so much more than that. It’s a way to get girls into building and making and breaking and doing all over again – delivering a sense of capability and accomplishment and “hey, I look what I can make!” – feeding curiosity, engaging creativity and opening doors that might have otherwise been passed by. Think about how far humanity has come with a society of engineers comprised principally of only 50% of the population overall. Now think about what it means to bring the other 50% into the equation. A fresh, feminine crop of fabricators. Become a part of that future by backing Roominate on Kickstarter before June 16.