Much like LEGOs, modern modular design kits contain various pieces that let the user build various structures. Desks, shelves, pot holders – depending on the kit’s materials, the user can make an assortment of things from a cleverly-designed family of attachable components.
TikA by TiKA Lab are modular kits comprised mainly of different-sized connectable wood sticks. These sticks can conduct electricity and be fitted with dimmable LED lights that turn the structures into bonafide lamps. Connecting these sticks are small magnetic balls which serve as joints. These bits and bobs can support their own weight or be put on one of three different bases. Put all these parts together and you have a kit which lets you make a wide variety of self-lighting, poseable structures.
Different kits and parts allow for different TiKA variations. One kit, for instance, is more geared towards building plant holders and thus doesn’t have any electrical components that could get fried when watering the plants. Another does the complete opposite; it’s made specifically for building lamp structures. Depending on what you’re planning to build, you can either pick a specific TiKA kit or mix and match different kits to get more options.
In total, there are five different-sized sticks to choose from when building a TiKA structure. More than one stick can be magnetized to a single magnetic ball, allowing for more complex structures and flexibility.
Each of the three bases comes fitted with features made specifically for certain structures. The wooden base includes slots for holding magnetic ammunition and comes with an engraved switch used for turning the power on and off. The plant pot is made from concrete and has hanging rings which allow you to suspend your plants on a ceiling. Finally, the ceiling base comes with metal suspender cables and electrical components meant for connecting lamp structures over an area.
The method by which the LED sticks work is pretty awesome. Whilst non-electrical sticks can be connected any which way to a magnetic metal ball, LED sticks require you to set them in a specific angle so as to create a circuit for the energy to flow. Not only does this simplify the electrical process, but it’s a great way to teach kids how electricity works without resorting to boring old textbooks or getting into accidents!
Bringing the TiKA kits to life took and simplifying the system took the design team through a process consisting of tons of iterations and prototyping. The one constant throughout the entire product development process was the mesh structure of the kits. Using this structure as the basis of the final build, the design team constructed all of the parts around the wooden sticks and magnets to come up with a unified format for all of the finished TiKA kit designs.
Of course, half the fun of the TiKA kits—like playing with LEGOs—is making the finished household designs yourself. As long your brain can think it up, and it doesn’t involve bending the sticks, chances are you can build your wild furniture idea with a TiKA kit.