As adults we often curse Lego—especially when we step on it! There is nothing worse than planting your foot down on one of those sharp plastic blocks. Ouch!
But let’s be kids again for a moment; let’s get down on the floor and play for a change. Lego has not only survived since its founder, Ole Kirk Christiansen, began making toys in 1932, it has flourished and has now replaced Ferrari as the most powerful brand.
Universality is perhaps one of the reasons this brand has become so popular—everyone can play it—young and old and in any part of the world. There are no language or ethnic barriers to Lego. The world loves it!
Here is why we think every architect and designer should stop being so serious for a moment and take a pause to play with Lego:
Lego Is A Creative Outlet
Most of us envision architects whiling away their days creating the next masterpiece, but in reality they are often chained to a desk and confined by a client’s budget, ideas, and corporate red tape. Architects are nodding their heads as they read this— they know they have few outlets that let their creative genius shine.
But isn’t that why architects originally get into this career, to be creative? We think so. Perhaps every architecture firm should build a play room—a room full of Lego that allows employees to take a creative break and build their ultimate fantasies.
Look what happened when some of New York Cities most notable architects took a time out and played with the architectural line of Lego. Their creative freedom led to some astounding buildings! And why can’t these building come to fruition in the real world? Perhaps Lego allows architects to actually create their next true masterpiece after all.
Lego Can Be A Problem Solver
The concepts that Lego teaches are vast. To name a few: problem solving, critical thinking, automation, robotics, architecture, design, mechanics, engineering etc…
Take a look at this short video of how some Toronto, Canadian students have used the power of Lego to help try and solve world problems. In this case, it is children learning and solving problems with Lego, but why can’t Lego be used by adults in the same manner?
For instance, let’s say you are an interior designer who is having trouble solving a design dilemma or envisioning a room layout. You don’t want to take the time to build a whole 3D architectural model just to try and envision the solution to one room or one problem, so why not use Lego? You could even build little Lego couches and chairs, moving them to see where the room flows best. It is a quick way to create a 3D vision of a project and perhaps solve a few design dilemmas, or even incite some new ideas.
It’s The Best 3D Model Money Can Buy
As we mentioned above, Lego can offer a quick-fix, allowing architects and interior designers to envision a 3D layout while still trying to eek out design issues. But let’s look a bit further into the 3D models that Lego offers.
Lego has recently released a new line of Architectural Legos, and while we think children may love them, they seem to be designed with the architect in mind. These kits are complicated, but allow users to build iconic buildings such as the White House or the Sydney Opera House. These are designs that every architect would love to create, and now they can.
One adult Lego fanatic, Adam Reed Tucker, gathered a team of kids together to spend over 260 hours to build a 3D Lego model of Frank Lloyd Wrights Talisen West. Imagine the design lesson these young builders got from such an amazing project!
We Learn Through Play
Ask a child why they like to play and they will surely answer, because it’s fun! Simple as that. Psychologists have studied play and long ago discovered that play is much more than mere fun, rather it is filled with moments of learning.
This article on learning through play notes: “Studies also show that play is where children first show their ability to delay gratification, to take another person’s point of view, to think abstractly, and to voluntarily follow rules.”
While this article is about children, there are some key points that apply to adults as well, such as thinking abstractly and taking another’s point of view. While we play, we learn to think outside of the box; we come up with new and unique ideas, and our playmates show us new ways or methods of doing things in a fun environment. Doesn’t this sound like the kid version of a team-building exercise? Perhaps for your next team meeting you should consider calling it a play date instead?
Whether using Lego to solve design dilemmas or just to spark some creative freedom, we think Lego has a place in all of the offices of architects and designers.
Do you still play with Lego as an adult? What do you love most about it?