jicazu_image_puzzle (by dmuren)
What can a puzzle that is not really a puzzle teach us about the future of product design? Actually, maybe a lot. The above image shows a Jigazo puzzle -- like so many things, only available in Japan -- which has been assembled to display the face of a child. This isn't anything special, since puzzles already are able to faithfully depict any face, or any other image, for that matter. What makes Jigazo unique is that its single set of pieces can be arranged to display any face. The company even offers the option to run your image through software which will generate build instructions for a unique puzzle. In fact, this un-puzzle is more like a paint-by-number: reconfigurable, generic parts which derive function through their structure. This shift in thinking will have far-reaching impacts as it continues to be applied to product design.