By Randy Daniels

Randy Daniels, in cowboy hat, leads a hands-on demonstration on stacking Fox Blocks ICFs at World of Concrete 2024.

World of Concrete 2024 proved exceptionally successful this year with an absolute record breaking number of leads generated. This could partly be due to the esteemed educational theorist Neil Fleming. He surmised that there were four main learning styles — visual, auditory, reading, and kinesthetic — or VARK for short. And it’s this last one, “kinesthetic,” that had us having a ton of fun with folks and had the engagement factor soaring.

The definition of a kinesthetic person is this: Someone who would rather perform physical activity to learn something, as an active participant, instead of passively listening to a lecture or watching a demonstration. Or another way of saying it is that hands-on experience seals the deal.
We set up the Fox Blocks outdoor booth area with a couple bundles of products. The demos were neither well-planned nor well-promoted, other than a poster or two. Each day we allowed concrete folks from all sides of the construction equation to stack walls. With minimal guidance, owners, designers, engineers, GCs, and concrete subs got to try stacking and see just how easy it really is.

Remarkable interest ensued when those who hadn’t actually touched an ICF before or hadn’t seen in-person how it goes up, got to participate in stacking a wall themselves. You could see their eyes light up as the wall formwork quickly got up over their head. And to add a little hilarity, we suggested they take the formed wall overhead and move it to another location. This was astonishing to some. They could see and feel that once the ICF was secured together, it became a solid overall formwork that goes up fast and is super light.
My favorite participants of these daily ICF hands-on builds were the old-school masons who lug and set CMU block and the concrete subs who have been dealing with heavy, slow formwork for ages. I caught one such giggling over how fast and light an ICF stacks. I suggested that using ICFs could add years to his working career. He replied, “Too late now, I’m shot.” It’s not too late for a lot of other folks though.

Each session was only 30 minutes, but the interaction afterwards went on and on. I have talked a bunch about ICFs over the last 24 years in this business. And now I realize I could have saved my voice and just told a group, “There’s the block, stack away.” For concrete folks, hands-on seems to be an astonishingly great way to turn on the light bulb.


Randy Daniels

Randy Daniels is commercial business development advisor for the Sustainable Construction Products division of Airlite Plastics Co. in the Western US. Airlite Plastics is a fam­i­ly-owned com­pa­ny estab­lished in 1946, and is the parent company of Fox Blocks. Reach Randy at