Gifts for intertwining with modern nature

Jay Silver, Eric Rosenbaum


Can we design tools and toys that encourage interaction with and intimate knowledge of the every day world? Inspired by Froebel’s Gifts,we created a set of metamanipulatives or “Modern Nature Gifts,”to help people explore their own local environments. Each gift comes out of the box “incomplete” and must be combined with some element of the environment to become meaningful. Like a magnifying glass,they are only interesting when applied to our world. However, the Modern Nature Gifts go one step beyond a magnifying glass because they directly suggest that you build and express yourself using your local landscape. You might see people engaged in activities like jumping up and down to draw a picture, hula-hooping to create music, or exploring a park to find unique sounds for a musical composition.We briefly cover fourrecent works and show how they exemplify Modern Nature Gifts:GlowDoodle, Drawdio, MmmTsss, and Twinkle.

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