Shape Your World: Shapes and Design

Our world is made up of many different shapes. From the roundness of the Earth to the triangular roofs on our homes, we see, touch and encounter shapes every day. What shapes do you see around you?

Architects use shapes to design and build homes, schools, playgrounds and even skyscrapers. Some shapes are used because they make buildings safe and strong, and some are used to make the buildings look nice. If you were an architect, what shapes would you use?

Librarian Lucas at Back of the Yards Branch loves shapes, too! Explore the relationship between shapes and design, and read on for our suggestions on how to have a shape-filled summer.

Learn how one of the most famous architects in America, Frank Lloyd Wright, got the inspiration to create in The Shape of the World.

In The World Is Not A Rectangle, read about the life of renowned architect Zaha Hadid, whose innovative buildings are located in several places around the world.

Child-created structures are paired with architectural wonders around the world in Dreaming Up.

Young children are so curious about things they see. Look at That Building! helps young readers learn architectural concepts.

A young girl and a pigeon spot hidden City Shapes, each from their positions on the ground and in the sky.

Go on a shape scavenger hunt in your neighborhood. Can you find a circular window? What about stars or hearts? Where else might you find them?

What can you make with shapes? Use your imagination to build structures (skyscrapers, houses, cars, etc.) with items found at home, folded paper or hand drawn!

Explore 11 architectural wonders of the world! Remix and recreate using shape combinations to design a new structure.

Build geometric structures by matching shapes in this fun construction-themed game.

Reflect on Your Learning

  • What shapes are the most commonly used in buildings? Why do you think those shapes are used the most?
  • What shapes do you like to build with? What shapes are easiest to build with? What shapes make building hard?