CSquares History


Fifty years ago there were only Broken Squares and Communication Squares. As the Human Resource application markets' use and appreciation of these experiential activities grew, different names were applied to the identical training activity. Soon it began appearing in classrooms and in corporate settings throughout the country and all around the world. Some of the variations took  names like Cooperation - Corporation - Collaboration Squares, to name only a few.

The earliest of these remain obscure. After considerable study we've concluded that the shapes known here as C Squares ® likely originated thousands of years ago and grew out of man's interest in mathematics and logic. What's different today is the application. No longer deferring to a perceived left brain cultural dominance, C Squares ® have become an integrated way of penetrating the mysterious portions of the pattern-making non-verbal right hemisphere. Augmenting human 'emotional intelligence' by degrees, C Squares ® have helped to uncover the process by which team members learn to perceive what they see, how they feel, and what habitually they've learned to do about it.

In recent discussion with Professor Beryl Blaustone of CUNY Law School distinction in Queens, N.Y., early forms of Broken Squares appear to have evolved in this century from the work of Blaine Hartford and adapted by J. William Pfeiffer in a Handbook of Structured Experiences for Human Relations Training (Volume 1, Revised) University Associates Inc., w/ permission from Alex Bavelas, Communication Patterns in Task-Oriented Groups, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1950, 22, 225-230.

C Squares ® were developed from the originals into Complete Training Kits. Previous derivations were made available through grants from the U.S. Office of Education out of Bethel, Maine in the 1960's. Those labs encouraged users to adapt Broken Squares ® to a range of diverse communal objectives while serious challenges in their construction beset users. Broken Squares ® took time and advance attention to detail to prepare. Using oak tag or cardboard shapes in manila envelopes as part of the process, the possibilities for error were ever present. Time-pressured assembly threatened a team's success. If you'd like to see examples of the old ways, scroll halfway down the page when visiting Links.

C Squares ® emerged when students and staff of the Maslow-Toffler (MT) School in Brentwood, New York began using Cooperation Squares as part of their Orientations. That structure endured for a decade while Maslow-Toffler became a highly successful and acclaimed model of futuristic public secondary education.

Though corporations and team-building organizations worldwide continue use of the first forms of squares in training regimes, there has until recently been no other variation available to the marketplace. Now it can be said that whether applied to team building, teaching cooperative behavior, or 'fixing' counter-productive patterns of behavior in large or small groups, there is a practical, cost-effective choice -- called C Squares ®.

C Squares ®, made of durable non-toxic, cross-linked polyethylene foam, retain shape and appearance after each use and are a cost- and time-saving response to today’s education and training market needs.

C Squares ® are recyclable and may be used year after year. Made in attractive colors -- red, white, blue, green, and yellow -- they’re packaged in self-contained kits. Traditional values of diversity and competition get new emphasis now, though the focus on cooperation and communication still get priority. Mistakes and guesswork have been eliminated from set-up and reassembly. Instructions are included for re-packaging and ease of facilitation even by first-time participants.

C Squares ® are favored by those whose focus and intent is to build climates of trust, communities of concern, and improve team performances. Getting people to work together isn't always easy.  Achieving personal goals while getting work done requires trust, balanced judgment, and belief in abilities. C Squares ® teaches players how to become more collaborative in their work.

Simply follow the rules and watch behavior unfold. Remember to avoid assumptions or analyzing what you see. Watch how people perform. Listen with your eyes. When the game is over there will be ample time to share what you've been given in the present. Everyone sees things differently. You’ll 'C' and understand better what that means after participating in the game of C Squares ®.

"Every valuable creative idea must always be logical in hindsight.  If it were not, we would never be able to see its value." - Edward de Bono