is creating open source sustainable didactic toys

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Hi, I'm Fernando and together with our community we created Alquimetricos because we love toys. Playing, designing, building some for my friends’ daughters and sons. We think everybody should have the right to play with wonderful toys.
We see building blocks as a way of self teaching a bunch of things like architecture, mechanics, physics, chemistry, among others. We specially like LEGO and KNEX, they are awesome. But in South America, where we come from and live, they are particularly expensive and sometimes hard to find.

So we created an open source alternative collection of toys you can build on your own, or at school, or with your family, or maybe start your own business based on them (because they are really open source even commercially). Many of them are based on the research and guidelines of great minds like Buckminster Fuller and Kenneth Snelson.

Alquimetricos stand for Alchemy (magic, ethereal, mutational) + Metric (exact, material, permanent). I think (and actually feel) that this conjunction is a parabola of the paradigm we have to change: we need to focus on processes, materiais and products that, with the use of a very specific and simple knowledge and energy efficient processes, we can convert some huge problem (like trash) into something completely positive (like didactic toys!). That’s the vision, that’s the mutation we ran after. Help us reach as many multiplicators as possible, we belive it will be a fun ride!

The production team and me build toy kits, sculptures, cat toys (cat loves Alquimetricos!), interactive installations, lamps (everybody likes lamps), even robotic kits. With the help of volunteers, partners, users and friends, we develop guidelines, videos, workshops and classes for kids, family, teachers, artists, community leaders, etc. Events happen almost every month, each time more frequently. As you can imagine, is much easier q to focus on the project when it is founded. We are always developing new proposals for government, ONGs and companies, like family days, summits, group dynamics, immersive DIY activities, zero waste and social responsibility programs, If you belong to some kind of organization that may benefit from smart playing, don’t hesitate to support us, we will give you a tailor made reward to match your needs and likes.

We're especially keen on three types of building block structures: geodesics, tensegrities and lock. There are lots of good systems around; we selected some we like most based on production simplicity and versatility and have been developed for the past two years. Anyway, change is the only constant, and new techs come in and out of the scope every time. We find this type of architectures and structures the subject in which 21st century tech should be focused on, a sense that must be developed.

You need no special prerequisites or tools. Or maybe yes, but we try to keep things as basic or as complex as to match your possibilities and will. Actual broad spectrum is the game here. As makers (and quite nerds) grown up and focused on emerging countries reality we try to keep things feasible either by analogic as to digital production. Don’t understand us wrong, we’re great fans of 3D printers, CNCs and specially, laser cutters. But that’s something quite restrictive where we come from and we’re certainly not at the pyramid’s top, nor the base, so we try to prioritize systems that can help that analog-digital transition. How? Well, interest in technology (and, actually, in following a tech life-career) can start by being a tech fun, and enabling that, from the very first childhood, whether you have resources or not, is a key step to enabling community linked tech savvy children and teenagers. Maybe, with time and efforts, some of them can become technicians, engineers, architects, artists… who knows. In the southern hemisphere we need lots of them to reduce inequality and make our countries grow, so let’s starts from the very base, shall we?

Some of them we have created from scratch, other are traditional building blocks system we've hacked. We give workshops and classes on how to create them, even online. But this is not nearly our own work. We're collective intelligence believers. We discover the actual potential (and fun) of the Alquimetricos whenever we teach somebody how to produce and mount them. Kids are our best teachers. And everybody that participates or plays with Alquimetricos is part of the movement.

Project is focused on recycling. It’s a deep conviction: when we see so much and many good-still-usable materials wasted I really want to cry. Already passed the compulsive hoarding fase (think we started this because we needed to do something about that) and got to know almost magical waste-to-something-cool transformations. Recycling is about creating consciousness, resilience, becoming technologically sovereign. Key materials are most abundant ones, like PET, TetrapackⓇ, publicity vinyl banner, textiles and more, You can use raw materials if you want. You will feel much better if you recycle something, believe me.

We’d love to thank everybody that have helped to develop the project so far, and I’m really encouraged to invite to you to join and play. Shall we?
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Thanks for allowing this magic to happen! 
We will be able to give at least one "Alquimetricos' toy lab" class at a favela context each week.

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