18 Jul Lego Building for Architects
Architecture and Lego Building
I’m not going to lie, I still love Lego® Sets. I always loved them when I was a kid (and perhaps that was a sign of my future career) but to me it was just fun. Many assume that playing with Legos is how we got into our career, and it’s true, but beyond the fun it was also a great tool for learning. I think all future architects can learn something about architecture from Lego building. There are many foundations in architecture education that can be taught through Lego building, and can be the start of many deeper thoughts.
The first aspect of Lego building is creative problem solving. Perhaps you have a final design in mind, or you are just randomly placing blocks, but either way you need to find the right size and shape pieces and figure out how they go together, how they interact with the other pieces and how they become a part of the whole. Just like in real architecture, every component has a special reason for existing in the building and should be vital to the design.
Lego building also forces you to understand basic spatial concepts. You learn to look at not just the solid pieces, but also the voids left between them. You start to understand how the combination of the two create the spaces that will be inhabited and how the structure is experienced. You quickly understand spanning and cantilevering pieces and how to use them to create a more complete design.
3 Dimensional Thinking
For some young and future architects drawing and sketching come easy, but for many others (like myself) this had to be a learned trait. Being able to see something in real life and then put that onto paper can be difficult. This is especially true when you aren’t looking at something, but rather thinking of it in your head. Lego building allows you take basic shapes and forms from your mind into 3d form and helps you make the correlation between your thoughts and how it looks in real life.
The speed and fluidity of quickly grabbing whatever blocks you have available and creating something real allows you to enhance your design ability. There are no wrong answers, and in the end you have something tangible to show for it. In architecture we use things like study models or 3d printers to quickly get our ideas across, but there is something special about starting with a blank slate and coming up with the design on the fly, which is something that Lego building allows.
Today Lego sets are nothing like I remember with multicolored blocks being assembled to create a weird conglomeration of a building. Today Lego sells sets that are specific to architecture with their Architecture Studio. This set contains everything you need to start getting creative. The blocks are a modern white color and the kit comes with a architecture guide book. This is the ultimate in Lego building sets for architects.
In addition to their Architecture Studio, they have also started making classic architecture building sets that feature some of the most iconic buildings. My favorites are:
As a huge fan, I’m so glad to see that Lego building sets are now focusing on architects and offering sets specifically for us. They have helped me foster my desire for architecture early on, and with these new sets, hopefully it will increase the amount of people who find their passion as well.
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