Concentrics: A rock balancing desk toy for mindfulness
Concentrics: A rock balancing desk toy for mindfulness
Bring more balance and mindfulness into your life with this nesting set of four stacking rocks.
Bring more balance and mindfulness into your life with this nesting set of four stacking rocks. Read more
Concentrics is a lightweight set of four rocks engineered to stack. Made of durable textured plastic, Concentrics captures the essence of natural rock stacking while offering portability, indoor-friendliness, and compact storage through clever nesting. Their thoughtfully engineered shapes offer an expanded array of stacking combinations for players to discover. By developing focus, patience and a steady hand, Concentrics enables mindfulness and brings a bit of calm into stressful and busy lives. We hope that by finding balance in rocks, we can also find balance in our lives.
Simply open and re-assemble the four rocks, then begin to discover stacking combinations.
Today, stress comes from all directions. We’re constantly connected, bombarded 24/7 with contentious and unsettling news. We felt the need to create a toy to help unplug from the daily grind. So, we set out to create a product that was simple and handheld, like a fidget toy, while also calming and recentering, like a coloring book.
One day, while watching my toddler play in the backyard, I started stacking rocks for him to knock over. It was surprisingly challenging and meditative at the same time.
After bringing a handful of rocks indoors, however, I quickly exhausted their stacking possibilities. Each rock had only a few stable positions, and I realized the fun of outdoor stacking came from the vast selection of rocks available. But it also seemed impractical to keep a giant pile of rocks in the home or office.
With that image in mind, I got to work with the Oakland Design Collective to distill the essence of rock stacking into an accessible and portable toy. We came up with Concentrics. Lightweight and indoor-friendly, each of the four rocks has a unique shape yet nests within each other for storage and carrying. We’ve engineered six stable balance points into each rock--allowing for a wide variety of stacking combinations--each with varying degrees of difficulty to create a progressive path of learning and discovery.
We’ve taken meticulous care in selecting the proper materials and surface textures to provide a satisfying, tactile and long-lasting stacking experience. When not being stacked, they can be nested into a compact package or left out in stacks as a sculptural element for your home or office.
We want Concentrics to be a steady rock for turbulent and stressful times, and to be always available when you need it--whether at home, at the office, or while traveling.
Mindful.org defines mindfulness as the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. Several studies have recently highlighted the benefits of mindfulness, showing that it can help increase focus and reduce stress. With rising stress levels, it’s no wonder that many are turning to mindfulness to find balance in their lives.
To learn more about rock stacking and mindfulness benefits, here are some informative links:
- The Yoga of balancing stones
- Benefits of mindfulness
- Rock stacking improves focus in the classroom
- Mindfulness for children
Concentrics makes it easy to take a moment each day to reset our mind and body. By focusing on the simple task of balancing rocks, attention flows away from ourselves onto the present moment which helps quiet our mind and achieve mindfulness. It also provides an opportunity to unplug from all the technology in our lives and exercise the creative part of our minds.
We started by collecting and stacking hundreds of rocks to understand the critical features that make for good stacking. After dozens of 3D printed prototypes, we finally found the optimal shape for each rock to maximize the stacking combinations while offering varying levels of difficulty.
In addition to perfecting the shape of each rock, we also explored a wide range of materials and textures to find the best stacking experience. Concentrics will be made from textured polypropylene. The texture we chose provides good hand feel while helping with stackability. Polypropylene will ensure durability and the right level of flex for opening and closing each rock.
The Oakland Design Collective brings together a team of designers and design-minded individuals passionate about bringing innovative new products to the world in their spare time.
The collective was started by Marcus Wang, a product designer with over 15 years of experience bringing consumer products to market, including a successful Kickstarter campaign that fulfilled all of its rewards on time. Founding members include graphic designer Denise Gee, media expert Wilmot Yeh, and engineer David Sam. Between their day jobs, they steadily develop and perfect these products that capture their imagination. Concentrics is the first project launched by ODC.
We want to build a large community that can collectively practice mindfulness and find more balance in our lives. But we need your help.
If you like what we're doing, please help us out by sharing Concentrics with all of your friends. Use one of the links below to share on Facebook or Instagram @ConcentricsRocks. Thank you!
Risks and challenges
We are a team of experienced designers with over 30 years of combined experience designing and launching consumer products. We know that launching a new product is hard and unexpected issues will come up along the way, but we have been through it before and have built in plenty of buffer time to work out any issues that pop up.
As with any injection molded plastic part, there are many unknowns until the first shots come off the tool, but we've done everything to make sure this is a simple part to manufacture. Everything from the design of Concentrics to the packaging is meant to be as simple and efficient as possible.
If order volumes greatly exceed our expectations, it may take slightly longer to fulfill all the orders. We have identified a few options for efficiently fulfilling the rewards at various volumes and we will do everything in our power to get the product out on time. If any unforeseen issues arise, we promise to be timely and transparent communicating any delays.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)