WIKIBLOCK

Wikiblock: an open-source design library for building better blocks. 

This toolkit includes designs for benches, chairs, planters, stages, bus stops, beer garden fences, and kiosks. Design files can be downloaded for free and a CNC router can cut them out of a sheet of plywood. Most products can then be assembled without glue or nails, and used instantly to make a block better. Learn more here.

Mission

“We’re trying to lower the barrier to entry on fabrication,” says Jason Roberts, founder of the Better Block. “We’re realizing the potential for the everyday man and every woman. Before, it required an architect, a carpenter, renderings, and contractors. At this point, you no longer need all that. You just need your local makerspace.”

History

In 2016, the Wikiblock library launched with 30 products, and has continued to grow as community partners and creators from all around the world have provided input. Elements of the Wikiblock library were first tested at the Cuyahoga Falls Better Block in Ohio in partnership with Brian Peters' College of Architecture and Environmental Design class at Kent State University. Students Tyler Lunevich, Kelsey Atchison, Ethan, Rothermel, Danielle Jones, Benjamin, Schanfish, and Zachary Forney were partnered with local vendors to create kiosks for the two-day event—elevating the idea of a booth from a tent to a semi-permanent/moveable structure.

Utilization

Wikiblock has helped us to elevate our design and create elements that last longer than the typical two-day demonstration. The Wikiblock elements created during the Better Block process stay behind in the community to be continually used. This was the case when Wikiblock elements were introduced during Kenmore's Better Block.  The pieces were later repurposed for ongoing Busk Until Dusk events to provide continued activations on Kenmore Boulevard in Arkon, Ohio. 

"Wikiblock offers a fun, fast, effective path to get people involved in shaping their community and create spaces where people can connect with their city and each other."

 

— Benjamin de la Peña, Knight Foundation Director for Community and National Strategy

STEPS 

From print-outs to popping the furniture together. 

Wikiblock elements can be downloaded from our library for free, taken to a local maker space (often found at colleges, libraries, or in business districts), and cut with a matter of hours for rapid urbanization projects, community events, small business use, and even for personal homes and gardens. 

1. 

Download from Wikiblock Library

2.

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4.

Gather the materials listed in download

Use a Maker Space to cut designs

Assemble design with hands and a mallet

Opening the Door to Entry-Level Fabricaiton

 

Wikiblock is generously supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

 

Thanks, also, to our other partners, including Kent State UniversityRSP ArchitectsSaint Paul Riverfront CorporationFriendly Streets InitiativeFrogtown Neighborhood Association, and the Victoria Theater Arts Initiative.