Torsten Sherwood set out to design a simplified building system of one single component that would encourage instinctive building. His design, called Noook, is an orange double-faced disk that slots together to create overlapping formations.
"The design has been about trying to come up with something which could be completely open ended in a single unit and that’s where it takes great inspiration from Lego," the designer told Dezeen.
Sherwood veered away from the geometric shapes typically used in children's construction toys to create a disk of heavy-duty cardboard, which can be folded in the centre to create an edge and slotted together to produce surfaces.
"It's not a traditional, conventional solution to building," said Sherwood. "With this design, any combination is possible, because you're not trying to find the solution to a pre-set problem defined by a particular geometry."
For the Designers in Residence exhibition, Sherwood built two dens inspired by homes in popular children's fiction – Swedish author Tove Jansson's Moominhouse and the Twits' House from the book by Roald Dahl – to show how the system can be used. A third platform is left empty to allow visitors to try out the toy.
"The ethos behind the cardboard is it's suitably durable for play, fit for use, but also completely ecologically friendly. It is more appropriate than something that will last forever, way beyond its use," Sherwood said.
The designer also sees the system working at an architectural scale, as a way to divide spaces. "I've put one of these up in my flat back at home as a partitioning system," Sherwood said.
Torsten Sherwood is currently developing the system for production. He will begin a MA Architecture course at London Metropolitan University in September.
Exhibition photography by Luke Hayes.