Up & Coming: At Home with Rafael Anta

This father's Day DHM brings you a unique toy idea inspired by a man's love for his son and an appreciation of architecture

District Home Magazine: Where are you from originally? What is your background?
Rafael Anta:
 I was born in Orense and raised in Barcelona, Spain. I have a degree in Computer Science and my professional experience is a mix of entrepreneurship, technology consulting, and innovation.

DHM: How did you end up in Washington, DC?
: After several years working in the business and technology consulting space, mostly in Europe, in 2005 I joined the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean to reduce poverty and inequality, at its headquarters in Washington DC. I have the privilege to work in a great institution, with brilliant minds, enthusiastic and restless people who have something in common: passion for development.

DHM: Where did your passion for architecture stem from? How did you come up with the concept of PlayAssembly?
I have loved architecture since I was 5 or 6 years old. In my childhood, I spent a big part of my free time playing with Legos, painting and making some sculpture. I think that part of this influence comes from our very talented and iconic Spanish architects (Gaudi, Bofill, Miralles, Moneo, ...) and also from traveling. The concept of PlayAssembly comes from three different sources: first and most important, I wanted to spend quality time with my son Pau who is 9 years old. We go biking, sailing and play tennis but I also wanted to do something with him where we can use our imagination and design skills. I wanted him to live the experience of developing an idea, from the concept to the product. Second, because of my passion for architecture and third, because I found that crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter are a real provocation for people who have creative ideas. After some thought, we decided to focus on developing a construction toy that allows you to build geodesic domes. We wanted to create something new that allows you to build humansize structures. I don't know if we will reach our funding goal but here is something that I hope my son Pau will nevel forget from this experience: the process, the adventure, the uncertainty, the will to create something new. I hope all these will craft some of his skills.

DHM: Where can someone order the Assembly Kit?
PlayAssembly is a young startup in stealth mode. We are running a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.com, the world's largest funding platform for creative projects, to bring the Assembly Kit to market. Until July 8th, people can pledge for the Assembly Kit and other great rewards. If we reach our funding goal, then we will begin manufacturing and shipping. Eventually, people could order the Assembly Kit in our website www.playassembly.com.