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Souper Studio designs playing blocks as a physical manifestation of ‘building unity’
Souper Connect - modular playing blocks by Souper Studio
Image: Andrew Longo

Souper Studio designs playing blocks as a physical manifestation of ‘building unity’

Designed by Peter Minsoub Sim and developed by Souper Studio, Souper Connect, embodies interdependence through modular blocks that foster collaboration and unity.

by Ria Jha
Published on : May 07, 2024

As individuals come in tandem, they become an effective unit, with each person playing a crucial role in the larger framework of collaboration and collective growth. Like pieces of a puzzle fitting seamlessly together, they leverage each other's strengths to overcome obstacles, reach new heights, and forge paths towards progress. Inspired by the strength of human interdependence, multidisciplinary designer Peter Minsoub Sim designed Souper Connect, a product design comprising modular human-shaped blocks that serve as a poignant reminder of our interdependence, emphasising the necessity of leaning on each other for support. “When I was young, I remember the world was more united and sought for interdependency. However, socially, economically, and politically, the world these days seems to be more isolated from my perspective. I wanted to design something so simple that could coexist right alongside our daily lives, reminding us that we can't stand alone. Then, I got an idea of a building block shaped like a human but unable to stand alone by itself, with round feet and a hole in the middle,” the product designer shares.

Developed by New York-based Souper Studio, these blocks offer a myriad of interconnection opportunities; with octagonal geometry defining their arms and legs, they allow for rotational angles of connecting broadening the range of possible configurations. Souper Connect transcends age barriers, catering to individuals aged three to 101, and offering an immersive experience to all. Its meticulously crafted modular design ensures a gratifying fit, enabling users to fidget, build, and share with ease. Commenting on the design inspiration behind Souper Connect, the designer relays, “Objects connect us to the world and to each other, enabling shared experiences that foster understanding and empathy. This understanding motivates us to participate in the world, and our collective energy makes it more dynamic. This dynamism creates complexity, and from a distance, the world of objects appears alive.”

Sim created multiple versions of the block through rigorous experimentation and practical testing, improving the design with each iteration. Determining the ideal tolerance required careful balancing between snugness and mobility, which presented the main obstacle. This quest for perfection demanded countless adjustments to the mould, necessitating multiple rounds of recutting and design modifications. The studio is now embarking on the process of mass-producing Souper Connect using three vibrant colours of polypropylene plastic. With a commitment to sustainability at the forefront, their objective is to transition Souper Connect towards the use of eco-friendly materials.

In a world where division and isolation have become prevalent, Souper Connect provides a tangible reminder of the simplicity and potential inherent in our shared humanity. A minimalistic design stands as a testament to the power of collaboration, creativity, and human interdependence. Each block solidifies the idea that ‘we are stronger together’ as it clicks into place and becomes a part of a larger structure. “As a maker and designer, I believe tangible objects that surround us bring people together and shape our culture beyond merely being tools we create. Among my designs, Souper Connect may be one of the simplest and most direct embodiments of my design philosophy,” Sim shares.

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