I Wish They Had That When I Was a Kid: Altra Forma by Agati

The other day we got to hear all about my feelings vis-á-vis elementary school washrooms courtesy of the Genesis Toilet Cubicle. Who knew another trip down memory lane was in the offing just a mere 24 hours later? But the Altra Forma interactive block collection authored by Agati has got me contemplating that formative classroom infrastructure I experienced way back when.

Altra Forma. Designed by Lonn Frye. Manufactured by Agati.

Agati’s Altra Forma Stimulates Imagination and Creative Play

With my memory understandably dimmed by the intervening 30 years or so, I can’t say with supreme accuracy what the interior of my childhood classrooms looked like, though I can say it wasn’t anything like the sensorial and tactile delight proffered by Agati’s Altra Forma. I seem to remember non-descript wooden desks in neat rows and a roll-able tumbling mat—but, more than likely, that was in P.E.

Altra Forma. Designed by Lonn Frye. Manufactured by Agati.

Agati seems to have taken the notion implied by the above (namely, that children respond to movement and color) and developed it as a central aspect of early learning. The Altra Forma collection of interactive blocks is comprised of individual pieces that do double duty as the building blocks of impromptu furnishings.

Altra Forma. Designed by Lonn Frye. Manufactured by Agati.

Designed by architect Lonn Frye, these differently shaped units each have an individual character, yet, very like a set of oversized padded legos, they fit together in interesting and creative ways. Shapes like “Toadstool” (a basic cylindrical ottoman),   “Half Round,” “Saddle and Scoop,” and “Triangle” can be made to interact. Whether that involves simply playing around or building an actual (if temporary) enclosure is up to the zeitgeist of the group, or the particular child.

Altra Forma. Designed by Lonn Frye. Manufactured by Agati.

The individual modules in Altra Forma are all brightly colored, lightweight, and easy to handle. So whether the children in question are just aiming to lounge about or desiring to devise the intricate architecture of a pass-through tunnel or fort, they’ll find something among the manifold forms of Altra Forma to help shape their dreams and aspirations.

About the Manufacturer: Agati manufactures furniture for clients in the education, hospitality, healthcare, and corporate markets. The company’s pieces and collections “are tailored to meet the functional, aesthetic, and technological needs” of their diverse clientele. Started by Joe Agati in the 1970s, Agati designed the Agati Petro series, which is now part of the Chicago Historical Society’s permanent collection. Known for their excellent customer service, Agati offers the option to modify their standard furniture “to convey each building’s architectural message.”

Posted March 6, 2012 by Joseph Starr

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