That was unexpected

We celebrate suprising, impactful, and exceptional
uses of KEVA planks.

Unexpected

DREAMWORKS

Stage Nine Productions partnered with KEVA to create a massive model of the Shrek Castle. It's one of the most complex structures ever built with KEVA Planks.

We received a phone call from Stage Nine Exhibits: ""Could you make something out of KEVA Planks that resembles any part of Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon or Kung Fu Panda?"". They were putting together a traveling exhibit about animation that would feature Dreamworks Productions. They wanted a spectacular centerpiece and lots of loose KEVA Planks so people could enjoy an interactive experience building something themselves. Every Dreamworks movie begins with a scale model of the setting for the story. The animators need to be able to physically move around the set to visualize camera angles, staging etc. Below see our visit to Dreamworks Animation Studios when we provided a KEVA planks creative session with the Dreamworks staff.

The Stage Nine exhibit featuring Dreamworks Animation and KEVA planks traveled the country for three years. It visited venues like the LA County Fair which is attended by 500,000 people each year.

Shrek Castle Closeup

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Dreamworks' KEVA Shrek Castle

   

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WORLD RECORD TOWER

Over 5,125 KEVA planks, 10+ hours of construction time, for an incredible 51 foot, 8 inch tall tower at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.

The National Building Museum in Washington, DC was a natural venue for stacking the tallest free-standing structure using KEVA planks. The team gathered Friday evening to get started on over 10 hours of construction, completed over 2 days. Chosen for their construction experience with KEVA, steady hands, attention to detail, and fearlessness at great heights, the 3-person construction team practiced various maneuvers on the 60' cherry-picker. We've seen the perfectly cut planks perform engineering marvels before, but none as high as this.

The base of the tower was a marble slab, carefully leveled on every side by wooden shims. The tower pattern is an octogon, with 4 rectangular wings of interconnected square columns. This pattern is beautiful and sturdy, capitalizing on the speed of stacking planks upright and the power of triangulation to stabilize a structure. We hung a plumbline from the ceiling, which kept the tower nearly perfectly vertical on the way up, and was ultimately used as a wrecking ball on the way down.

Museum visitors built with loose KEVA planks in a workshop area a safe distance from the tower as it went up. Periodically, you could hear blocks trip down the center of the tower - whether accidental or for dramatic effect, we've never been quite sure. The builders were confident in the downward compression acting on the blocks to hold it steady even when they dropped planks. Every few hours, the builders took a measurement and radioed it to workers who wrote height updates for the visitors below.

Friday, 5:30 pm: 22 feet

Saturday, 11:45 am: 39 feet

Saturday, 3:30 pm: 42 feet, 6 inches

As the tower reached 40' mark, we noticed it was wobbling uneasily, a few subtle centimeters from side to side. The breeze from the museum's air conditioning was an unexpected challenger to the 51' 4"" goal. Undettered, the building team kept on, and the weight of gravity on the blocks kept the tower sturdy and standing.

At 51' 8"", the tower was complete! Spectators watched wide-eyed and mouth ajar, wondering if the tower might tumble ahead of our planned destruction, but gravity held it like a rock. To bring the tower down, we carefully pulled the plumb bob from it's spot hanging beside the tower. The blumbline was still attached to the ceiling like a pendulum. Artist Foon Sham released the wrecking ball from about 15' away. Each time the plumb bob struck, there were gasps and screams from the spectators, sure it would be the final blow. After 8 swings and hits with bated breath, the tower had a 5' hole in it's side, but stayed upright to the shock of the crowd. After the 12th hit, the tower finally fell!

Many people who were there or watch the video are surprised to see that the tower tilted only about 8 feet before crashing in a relatively narrow footprint. There are a few explanations for this."

From Below

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At the top

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Measuring

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VIRTUAL KEVA DESTRUCTION

Computer animated destruction of KEVA structures are made possible by Bullet Physics and Blender 3D software. It's open source, and easy to learn with online tutorials. Join the fun!

Looks real, but it's not.

A few years ago, a Canadian with the YouTube name of Phymec posted a computer generated animation video of a KEVA style structure that looked so real, we watched it several times to decide if it might be real. We've knocked down a lot of KEVA structures and watched slow motion video of the real thing. Phymec's videos are incredibly accurate and have millions of views. We contacted him to learn more about him and how it does it.

Since Phymec's introduction of the concept, KEVA planks animated destruction videos have grown into a subculture with dozens of animators contributing to the fascinating collection. People find new creative ways to destroy the virtual structures and dramatic new camera angles to view the action. It's done with open source software called Bullet Physics and Blender 3D. It is the same cutting edge software used to create realistic gaming situations... and it's free!

Beeg Martin has created a top notch instructional video to teach you how to get in on the action. At no cost, you can learn a marketable skill using some of the best software in the world. Or, just enjoy the accomplishment of making something out of nothing. KEVA planks work well for learning virtual destruction because the simplicity of the planks allows video producers to focus on the creative process instead of the planks."

Master Builders

KEVA Master Builders are talented individuals or groups who have created notably unique, complex, or otherwise impressive structures using our blocks. We consider them some of the best builders in the world.

KEVA Master Builders are talented individuals or groups who have created notably unique, complex, or otherwise impressive structures using our blocks. We consider them some of the best builders in the world.

Benjamin Crouzier

Elaborate 3D "Domino" Structures

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Eric Olson

Engineered Technical Excellence

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Todd Dionne

Intricate interwoven towers

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Craig Hansen

Exceptional Gallery of Art

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TEAM BUILDING

Corporate, Non Profits, Schools, Clubs and Organizations have all benefited from Team Building Activities with KEVA planks, that keep the whole group engaged and encourage communication.

"There were roaring dinosaurs on one side and children’s blocks on the other.

And, in the middle, a couple dozen employees of Dondlinger Construction learned better teamwork and communication.

They worked in a corner of Exploration Place in the first session of an unusual new business training program created by the museum and Wichita Area Technical College. The museum has had blocks for children to build castles and towers in its KEVA exhibit area, and that’s still available.

But now, businesses can also book the exhibit along with a trainer during weekday afternoons.

The four-hour seminar starts with employees in teams building towers silently, then doing it again but allowed to speak to each other. On a final go round, they plan as well as communicate. As their interaction grows, so does their effectiveness in building a structure. The exercise drives home the merits of good teamwork and communication, said Dan Hemmen, who teaches the course for WATC and is also vice president for quality at the Atlas Group.

Tom Dondlinger, president of Dondlinger Construction, who observed the first session, said he sponsored the children’s exhibit a year ago and now is happy to also see it used for a business purpose.

“It’s a fabulous program because it encourages kids to use their imagination and creativity,” he said. “Now, we’ve got adults learning from it as well. Pretty exciting.” " - Dan Vorhis for The Witchita Eagle about team building with KEVA at Exploration Place

Student Team Challenge

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Stadium

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Human Shelter - Yellow

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Human Shelter- Red

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Human Shelter- Green

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Giant Chair



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Circle Bridge

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PROFESSIONAL THERAPY USES

KEVA planks are used in therapy settings as a tool for opening conversations. Their accessibility means even people with limited dexterity or verbal skills find them to be a helpful tool.

USING KEVA WITH OTHER TOYS

KEVA planks play well with others - matchbox cars, live pets, dolls, LEGO, toy horses. KEVA enthusiasts have combined forces to come up with new ways to play.

Combining KEVA with some of your other toybox favorites is a fantastic idea, and we support it wholeheartedly! Here are a few things we've seen:

- Make a maze for your guinea pig or hampster

- Make a stable for horse figurines. Note that some photos show structures made with KEVA planks and glue. The fences are made in self standing segments so the corrals and pastures can be quickly rearranged at the whim of your stable master. Normally you would never use glue with KEVA planks, but some people have done it and are happy with the results. We call it KEVA hacking and we're OK with it if you are. Compared to the price of store bought barns, stables, and fences, gluing KEVA might actually be an inexpensive alternative, plus you get the pleasure of building a custom setup. Pine KEVA planks (Structures) are less expensive than Maple KEVA planks, so that could help your project stay on budget.

- Mix LEGO Land and KEVA World to create interesting new ways to play with both toys.

- Create a challenge for Sphero robots, such as a maze, moving a block across a table, or traveling up a KEVA ramp.

DOMINO EFFECT

KEVA planks can be set up like traditional toppling dominoes. Build "self destructing" walls and towers that cave in on themselves when you give the que.

Domino-style creations are in a category we also call ""self-destructing structures."" They give you an opportunity to practice thinking through the physics of how a structure will respond to a plank being moved or removed. How sharp of a corner can you make without breaking the chain? Where should safety gaps be installed to prevent the spread of an accidental bump? How far will a block slide when knocked over? We recommend you start small and experiment with short runs. Create videos of the destruction action so you can remember what you did last time and so you can show your work to others.

Check out this gallery of some of the most spectacular self destructing towers in the world.

Professional

Ben Crouzier's early work 11,000 planks, 8 hours of work, 30 man hours of work, 10 sec of destruction 9 hours and 31min to build, 20 seconds to d...

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Dominos

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DESTINATION IMAGINATION

The vision of Destination Imagination is to be the global leader in teaching the creative process from imagination to innovation. Combine that with 20,000 KEVA planks and you've got an overwhelming success!

We provided over 20,000 KEVA planks for the Global Finals of Destination Imagination. We were blown away by what could be done with that many planks!

The Destination Imagination program encourages teams of learners to have fun, take risks, focus and frame challenges while incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), the arts and service learning. Participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem solving process. Teams may showcase their solutions at a tournament.

"KEVA Planks have been an overwhelming success at all the tournaments they have traveled to!" - Andrew Whitmire, Destination Imagination Program Director

Destination Imagination

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PTSD

Since KEVA planks are inviting to all ages and abilities, they can be used to build rapport between therapists and clients as an accessible form of art therapy.

We honor our service members who sacrifice for the good of our nation. KEVA is proud to be a small part of the solution for soldiers who have suffered emotionally or physically from their service. Contact us at info@kevaplanks.com for more information about Therapeutic uses of KEVA planks.

"[KEVA Planks] have been extremely helpful during therapeutic sessions, particularly in building rapport (nice pun) and with those who are working on dexterity, as well as the occasional Service Members who are resistant to the art initially. I have some pretty incredible photos of the things the Service Members have built." - M. Walker, MA ATR | Art Therapist/Healing Arts Program Coordinator

MAKER KEVA

Some Maker clubs use KEVA planks for various creative activities. KEVA is not affiliated with the Maker organization but we love what the Maker Movement is doing and we want to help any way we can.

The Maker movement is an international phenomenon that shares many of the same goals as KEVA planks. Some Maker clubs use KEVA planks for various creative activities. If you are a KEVA builder, you can also consider yourself a Maker. If you are a Maker, you can get some KEVA planks and become a KEVA Maker. We thought an introduction between KEVA enthusiasts and MAKER enthusiasts was in order.

KEVA is not affiliated with the Maker organization but we love what the Maker Movement is doing and we want to help any way we can. Please contact us if you would like to explore how KEVA can be used in your Maker community, large or small.

MAKE is the first magazine devoted entirely to Do-It-Yourself (DIY) technology projects. MAKE unites, inspires, informs, and entertains a growing community of resourceful people who undertake amazing projects in their backyards, basements, and garages. MAKE celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your will.

Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning.
Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers. They are of all ages and backgrounds. The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community.

Maker Ed’s mission is to create more opportunities for young people to develop confidence, creativity, and spark an interest in science, technology, engineering, math, the arts, and learning as a whole through making. We want young people to grow and eventually lead the maker movement.

Makezine

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Maker Education Initiative



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Maker Faire

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KEVA HACKS

Stage Nine Productions partnered with KEVA to create a massive model of the Shrek Castle. It's one of the most complex structures ever built with KEVA Planks.

KEVA hacking is the unauthorized unofficial clever innovative uses of KEVA planks in ways other than standard non glued construction activities. Hacking often involves glue, paint, markers, saws, drills or hardware. It may render the planks unusable for standard structures and contraptions. We're OK with it if you're OK with it. Although "hacking" was traditionally used in a negative term for people who broke into computers where they did not belong, hacking has developed a new positive meaning over the last few years.

TEDxKEVA

KEVA planks was honored to be invited to the TEDxRenfrewCollingwood event to add a hands on creative experience to the talks.

"The addition of KEVA Planks at our event encouraged the creativity and play that is such an essential part of TEDx Talks. They also gave attendees a low pressure way of interacting with their peers. We had many audience members request information about purchasing your product. Thanks again for helping to make TED-x RenfrewCollingWood a great success! We hope that we're able to partner again in the future."" - TEDx Partnership Team

KEVA is not affiliated with TED Talks but we love what they are doing and enjoy partnering with them. Please contact us at info@kevaplanks.com if you are organizing a TED event and want a creative, hands-on social icebreaker.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences -- the TED Conference and TEDGlobal -- TED includes the award-winning TED Talks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

TED conferences bring together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes or less).

On TED.com makes the best talks and performances from TED and partners available to the world, for free. More than 1,500 TED Talks are now available, with more added each week. All of the talks are subtitled in English, and many in other languages, too. These videos are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.

Mission: Spreading ideas.

TED believes passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. So they build a clearinghouse of free knowledge from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.

MENSA

Mensa invited KEVA planks to their Annual Gathering. Massive creativity ensued.

"They were such a hit! The tallest tower we got was just over 6 feet because they kids wanted to start over with all the possibilities. The ratings were all 5s (as high as it goes), and I am thrilled. ... We're working on the Choice Awards and how that will happen, but I will tell you that it was rated one of the top two toys there. Next year, we're using the blocks as a core piece of the program. We ended up having to get them out again and again because the kids (and adults!) couldn't get enough. One of the teachers is a woodworker, and when he opened the box, he said, ""They're maple! Wow!"" He was so impressed with them. Wonderful! It went better than I could have imagined - it was so flexible - the littlest ones had as much fun as the older kids. This is one amazing product. Congratulations on creating something so amazing."" - Lisa Van Gemert | Gifted Youth Specialist | Mensa Foundation

Mensa, the high IQ society, provides a forum for intellectual exchange among its members. There are members in more than 100 countries around the world.

Activities include the exchange of ideas through lectures, discussions, journals, special-interest groups, and local, regional, national and international gatherings; the investigations of members' opinions and attitudes; and assistance to researchers, inside and outside Mensa, in projects dealing with intelligence or Mensa.


From the Keva Community

"My 2nd grader loves these- one of his favorite toys. I am so glad I got the 400 b/c he uses them all for sure. I have only owned the maple but from reviews heard both were good but obviously Maple is a harder wood so will last pretty much forever. I am glad I got the maple since he loves these so much and also b/c he loves to destroy his buildings and I don't have to worry about them getting ruined or dented. I was afraid he would be to old but nope we pull them out almost daily. My child is a super smart and outside the box thinker who is working on embracing his Dyslexia and become a better reader. His talents outside of sports are math, science and building/creating things.
Reasons he loves them:
1. No difficult instructions or reading involved.
2. He loves to build.
3. He is super creative and the possibilities are endless with these blocks
4. Easy to get out and put away -I bought a nice open bin for his bookshelf so he can pour them out and scoop them back up easily when done."

Amy R. | Parent

"The kids are eager to show us what they've built, so Keva is a go-to item for family and friends. One tall structure was built that included pathways for a ball to drop into different levels, finally hitting a row of dominoes (planks stood on their small end) that flipped the last plank, which dropped a small cup of baking soda into a bowl of vinegar on the floor below. THAT was fun to build and to show off to the family!"

Christian C. | Grandparent

"Bought this as an alternative to Legos and it is a great toy for kids age 6-adult! It comes with some intricate building ideas which was great for older kids but also allows for creative play too. It has been used to build structures for little army men, ramps for toy cars, and marble mazes among other things. It's the kind of toy that continuously gets dragged out and used for different kinds of playing which is nice. "

C. H. | Parent