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LEGO-Style Braille Bricks Help Visually Impaired Children Learn to Read

A new project is using a classic children's toy to increase literacy among visually impaired children, according to Adweek. Braille Bricks feature raised studs on top of a box base, similar to LEGO bricks. However, unlike those on LEGO pieces, the studs on each brick form the letters of the Braille alphabet and can be used to form words.


The project, a collaboration between the Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind and the Lew'Lara\TBWA ad agency, is something that LEGO hasn't been able to achieve so far, Adweek reports. While the toy giant has supported initiatives for the visually impaired in the past, including the LEGO Blind Art Project, LEGO has never released modified designs. (That hasn't stopped fans from making their own creations, though: Just last year, a 13-year-old boy invented a braille printer using a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kit.)

So far, Dorina Nowill has only made enough Braille Bricks for 300 children. In the hopes of taking the bricks worldwide, the non-profit has released the designs under a Creative Commons license.

Watch the video above to see how parents and students reacted after using the learning toys, and visit the website to learn more about the project and the #BrailleBricksForAll social media project.

Braille Bricks (screenshot)

[h/t Adweek]

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Design
Watch an Artist Build a Secret Studio Beneath an Overpass
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Lebrel

Artists can be very particular about the spaces where they choose to do their work. Furniture designer Fernando Abellanas’s desk may not boast the quietest or most convenient location on Earth, but it definitely wins points for seclusion. According to Co.Design, the artist covertly constructed his studio beneath a bridge in Valencia, Spain.

To make his vision a reality, Abellanas had to build a metal and plywood apparatus and attach it to the top of an underpass. After climbing inside, he uses a crank to wheel the box to the top of the opposite wall. There, the contents of his studio, including his desk, chair, and wall art, are waiting for him.

The art nook was installed without permission from the city, so Abellanas admits that it’s only a matter of time before the authorities dismantle it or it's raided by someone else. While this space may not be permanent, he plans to build others like it around the city in secret. You can get a look at his construction process in the video below.

[h/t Co.Design]

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architecture
One of Frank Lloyd Wright's Final Residential Designs Goes on Sale in Ohio
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In case you’ve missed the many recent sales of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed real estate, you have yet another chance to secure yourself a historical starchitect home. The Louis Penfield House is being sold by its original owners, and it could be yours for a cool $1.3 million. The restored Usonian home in Willoughby Hills, Ohio has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2003.

The house is currently a vacation rental and, depending on the preference of the new owner, it could continue to operate as a tourist destination. Or you could take it over as your private residence, which sounds pretty luxurious. It still has a floor-to-ceiling glass-walled living room that looks out on the Chagrin River, and comes with all the original furniture Wright designed. Like Wright’s other Usonian homes, it has a radiant-floor heating system that draws on a natural gas well onsite.

A retro-looking living room features floor-to-ceiling windows.
A bedroom is filled with vintage wooden furniture.

Around the same time as the original commission, Louis and Pauline Penfield also asked Wright to create another house on an adjacent property, and that home would prove to be the architect’s final residential design. It was still on the drawing board when he died unexpectedly in 1959. The sale of the Penfield House includes the original plans for the second house, called Riverrock, so you’d be getting more like 1.5 Frank Lloyd Wright houses. Seems like a pretty good deal to us.

All images via Estately

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