Rediscovering Froebel

Discovering Architecture’s DNA


  • John M. Reynolds Miami University


Since 2008, I have developed a design process using Froebel Gift Sets three through six that encourages students to discover and interpret the underlying patterns and structures that comprise their world as a preamble to design. Recalling the nature of DNA, the molecule that carries the genetic instructions used in the growth, development, functioning, and reproduction of all known living organisms, the abstract compositional outcomes of the Froebel-based exercises reveal aspects of the essential nature of things. I have used this process with student populations ranging from secondary STEM populations to architecture undergraduate and graduate students.