Emod, the building game developed by the URV’s School of Architecture goes on sale

The game helps players to work on competencies such as geometry, design, history and to develop their fine motor skills and creativity

Albert Samper and Josuè Andreu, professors at the School of Architecture and creators of the Emod dome construction game.

Emod is a game that allows players to construct different domes using various geometric patterns thought up by Leonardo Da Vinci around 500 years ago. In contrast to the products available on the market up to now, the development by researchers at the URV’s School of Architecture is easier to handle and can be used anywhere.

The game contains 70 pieces of wood which can support each other without the need for any binding agent and which can be used to create a wide variety of domes and bridges up to a metre square that are freestanding thanks to their own weight. These structures are known in architecture as a reciprocal frames, and they first appeared in the Codex Atlanticus, twelve treatises by Leonardo Da Vinci on mathematics, botany, musical instruments and weaponry, among other subjects.

Professors and researchers Albert Samper and Josuè Andreu making a dome with Emod.

The name Emod is taken from the word dome spelled backwards and the game allows one or more people to make constructions that occupy an area of 1 m2. Anyone can play the game, although children will only be able to do so autonomously from about the age of 5 onwards. Also, some of the skills that this pedagogical tool develops make it suitable for elderly people. Consequently, the game does not just work on knowledge areas such as history, architecture, geometry, design and technology, but also fine motor skills, inventiveness and creativity.

“We want to see it in all homes, schools and even centres for elderly people” stated the creators of the game, Albert Samper and Josuè Andreu. In fact, they got the idea from participants in a workshop on constructing Da Vinci’s domes that was run by Samper at events such the Nit de la Recerca (Research Night) and schools and at talks given to older people about architecture. “When we finished, people always asked us if they could buy the pieces of wood anywhere”.

Josuè Andreu producing pieces for Emod in the School of Architecture workshop.

They therefore decided to reduce the size of their existing pieces to make it accessible to anyone. On one hand, the size of the pieces means that the game can be played on a table or on the floor at home, although bigger domes can be made using more than one box of Emod. On the other hand, the pieces are produced by the School of Architecture using compacted, recycled, laser-cut wood, which means that they are able to sell the game for less than 30 euros.

Emod can be bought from the URV shop and collected from the following points of the University: the CRAIs on the Catalunya and Sescelades campuses, the International Center and the Office of the Rector in Tarragona; the Bellissens Campus in Reus; the Vila-seca campus, and the Terres de l’Ebre campus in Tortosa.

Emod, first game produced at the URV, can be bought from the URV shop.
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