A week or so ago, one of my coworkers gave me her ticket to attend an American Planning Association event with James Rojas, the founder of Place It! Place It! is a design and participation based urban planning firm that uses model-based workshops and on-site interactive models to help engage the public in community development. He has used toys as tools to empower immigrants in Los Angeles to share their ideas about how the neighborhood should be designed. The concept was simple, yet profound. We used toys to share our favorite memory from childhood and then we worked in groups to address a conceptual problem.