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    Brick by Brick : LEGO 601

    Jamie Evelyn Goldsborough
    Mar 15, '16 1:31 AM EST

    At the beginning of February, I was approached by two fellow studiomates to join their team in producing a submission on behalf of UIC for Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry's Brick by Brick exhibition. Our task at hand was to imagine the building to deal with challenges that face our futures cities. As stated by MSI, "it's this very spirit of "imagine it, then make it." As a whole, Brick by Brick is to be about play as a gateway to build great things. Filling nearly 7,000 square feet of exhibition space, the show will include LEGO structures such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Roman Colosseum and the International Space Station constructed by Adam Reed Tucker, a Certified Lego Professional. You will also find Cinderella's Castle and a LEGO version of the Museum of Science and Industry building, originally built for Chicago's Worlds Fair in 1893. Another selection of the exhibition will feature custom designed LEGO models from select firms and universities. According to MSI, "these forward-looking structures will be representative of how structures might be designed and built to meet future global conditions, such as urbanization and water scarcity." Guests will also be challenged to design their own building! The exhibition will be on display from March 20, 2016 – April 2017.

    We could add to, hack or create new pieces as long as we fit within a bounding box of 14L x 14W x 18H". The team began by introducing LEGO Duplo blocks to the already supplied three LEGO Architecture Studio kits of 1,200 white bricks. After hours of brainstorming, we decided on two things: 1. a plinth, and 2. shearing the Duplo blocks to create a section. We came up with creating a plinth of the architecture studio white pieces that would serve as a base structure, and identify four recognizable architecture references: classical, brutalist, modern and postmodern. The Duplo blocks, which would stack on top, would be a combination of sheared and untampered blocks. These blocks would suggest an unruly and playful representation of "future conditions," as identified and challenged by preconceptions (aka, the plinth). The sheared Duplo blocks are flush along an imaginary bounding area as if the center extents of the plinth were extruded upwards, creating a section cut of the future city. We imposed a scaleless representation to enhance our intentions of unconventional and disobedient methods.

    See below direct verbiage for the show on our behalf, credits, media links, and final imagery thanks to Spencer McNeil.

    Team Members: Tyler Boyett, Jamie Evelyn Goldsborough, Andrew Jennings, Andrew Lang, U Kei Long, Spencer McNeil, Preston Welker

    Special Thanks To: Thomas Kelley, Allison Newmeyer, Alexander Eisenschmidt

    What, if any, future local/global conditions did your firm consider when creating your structure?

    Lego 601 broadly considers the cultural and institutional norms and standards that ultimately influence the conditions of our collective future. Rather than suggest a specific technology or artifice as the way forward towards a vibrant and “sustainable” future the form simply proposes the attitude that such a future can only be achieved through optimistic and unapologetic rule breaking.

    How does you structure address those future conditions?

    Through the juxtaposition of the orderly plinth with its historical reference and the unruly, playful object we suggest that solutions to future conditions can only be discovered through unconventional and disobedient methods, proposing that architecture today must identify and challenge preconception in order to gain escape velocity from contemporary anxieties.

    Media Links:

    MSI Brick by Brick Exhibition

    Chicagoist MSI's Gorgeous Ode To Legos And Architecture

    Fast Company Design This Architect Builds Unthinkably Complex Structures—With Legos

    Lego buildings inspire creative play at MSI's new 'Brick By Brick'

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A collection of perspectives, rememberings, and thoughts as a dual Master of Architecture + Master of Arts Design Criticism graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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