Karakuri Block

Karakuri (which means “automatic”) Block , by Natsu Kawakita, Nobuya Suzuki and Takahiro Hayakawa, is made of two plastic blocks with Game Boy-like screens. When plugged into a 3 x 3 grid, a block shows an animated Japanese family crest. When a second block is plugged in, elements from one block flow into the other.


The device lets users create small animations changing the position and the order of the blocks on the grid. Different stories unfold between the screens depending on their positions and combinations. Little characters living in a block appear, for example, and users can discover the private world of these characters. The blocks are devoid of any buttons which makes it intuitive to operate, giving users a chance to explore it at their own pace.