Lego Architecture Studio 30-day challenge
Update: The 30-day challenge described in this article took place in 2013. These early experiences inspired me to write the The LEGO Architect, a bestselling book which was published by No Starch Press in October 2015. I hope my 30-day challenge, and my book inspire you to create amazing LEGO Architecture.
As I mentioned earlier, I recently purchased the excellent Architecture Studio set, a big box containing over 1200 Lego bricks and the 272 page “Create your own Architecture” book which aims to inspire rather than provide any specific building directions.
Presenting the Lego Architecture Studio 30-day challenge…
I decided to create my own 30-day challenge inspired by the Lego Architecture Studio. The set includes a great selection of Lego bricks and a “Create your own architecture” guidebook which describes seven hands-on explorations covering Abstraction, Scale, Space and Section, Modules and Repetition, Surface, Mass and Density, and Symmetry. That’s a good start, but I will definitely need to come up with more projects to fill up the month!
Goal of project:
My main goal in taking on this project is to inspire others to include creative free-form Lego play in their life. Take the challenge, and share the Lego challenges you create.
My personal goal is to build better models through practice and research into advanced building techniques. I hope to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the choice of bricks included in this set, and will create a list of “missing” bricks that would enhance this set for advanced model builders.
If I’m going to take on this personal challenge, I should establish some simple ground rules to keep myself honest…
- Clearly defined challenges: I want to make sure I define the challenge clearly before I build it. This is important to helping others try the 30-day challenge.
- Use only the pieces in the set: I will try to build each challenge using only the bricks included in this set, plus a couple baseplates. That said, I might recruit a few colored bricks for certain projects.
- 30 challenges in roughly 30 days: I want to make sure the project stays fun and I’m fairly busy, so my personal deadline is to complete 30 challenges before Thanksgiving.
- Document and share my progress: It is important that I capture and share the results of each challenge on my blog. I hope that others will try these challenges as well!
(That said, since this is my project, I reserve the right to adapt the rules as I go.)
I haven’t defined all of the challenges in advance because I hope that the first couple challenges will give me ideas for more interesting challenges to complete later. I also hope that people following my progress will suggest additional ideas for me to try. The following are some of my initial ideas:
- Build a microscale model of exterior of your home from memory.
- Build a simple repeating structure using only simple blocks. Build a more complex architectural model inspired by that simple structure.
- Bring your Lego to a building with interesting architecture or interiors. Recreate elements of the environment using your Lego bricks.
- Browse books or the Internet to find a building you like. Build a model of that building.
- Select a style of architecture. Make a new building inspired by the shapes and patterns common of that style.
- Build a small Microscale home (base of around 4×4). Create a larger model of the same home and incorporate subtle new details which weren’t possible in a smaller model.
- Build a Microscale home with a group of people where you take turns adding a few pieces to the model
- Build a simple model from scratch and recreate it on your PC using Lego CAD software.
See all 30 challenges…
I’ve put together a list of all thirty projects I did during this challenge. Take a look at a few of the projects which catch your attention!
- 10/5/2013 – Growing up with Lego
- 10/9/2013 – My Lego Architecture Studio 30-day challenge (this post)
- 10/10/2013 – Challenge #1: Build a simple repeating structure, then reinterpret it with more detail
- 10/11/2013 – Challenge #2: Build a microscale home, then a bigger model with more details
- 10/13/2013 – Challenge #3: Make a model of a famous building (Fallingwater)
- 10/14/2013 – My portable Lego Architecture Studio
- 10/15/2013 – Challenge #4: Build a Lego sphere
- 10/16/2013 – Challenge #5: Build a model in a specific architectural style (Shed style)
- 10/17/2013 – Challenge #6: Make a 3d model of a Lego project
- 10/18/2013 – Challenge #7: Build a model based on Art Deco style
- 10/19/2013 – Challenge #8: Build a model of Furniture
- 10/20/2013 – Challenge #9: Build a model of a Fire Lookout Tower
- 10/21/2013 – Challenge #10: Build a Prairie Style home
- 10/23/2013 – Challenge #11: Build a Skyscraper
- 10/24/2013 – Challenge #12: Build and photograph an impossible Escher model
- 10/25/2013 – Challenge #13: Build a Brutalist style model
- 10/26/2013 – Challenge #14: Build a Mini city of Microscale buildings
- 10/27/2013 – Challenge #15: How to build a Lego set without the instructions
- 10/29/2013 – Challenge #16: Halloween Candy
- 10/31/2013 – Challenge #17: Movie Theatre Facade
- 11/03/2013 – Challenge #18: Reverse engineering the design of Lego bricks
- 11/05/2013 – Challenge #19: Determine “Minifig Scale” (to build scale models of real buildings)
- 11/07/2013 – Challenge #20: Build an awesome castle.
- 11/08/2013 – Challenge #21: Build giant Lego bricks
- 11/11/2013 – Challenge #22: Build a Craftsman-style home
- 11/12/2013 – Challenge #23: Buying, disassembling and sorting a big used Lego set
- 11/13/2013 – Challenge #24: Lego recreation of a famous sculpture
- 11/16/2013 – Challenge #25: Redesign the Lego system of bricks.
- 11/17/2013 – Challenge #26: Build a Ski Lodge.
- 11/20/2013 – Challenge #27: Build a rustic cabin in the mountains
- 11/21/2013 – Challenge #28: Build a model of an interior space
- 11/28/2013 – Challenge #29: Build a model of Vista House on Mt Spokane
- 12/05/2013 – Challenge #30: Build a Lego model inside the Seattle Central Library
Wrapping the project up…
The project was a lot of fun, but I’m happy to have a break! Now that the “official” 30-day challenge is complete, I am preparing a few articles to share what I learned during this project:
- 12/09/2013 – Top 10 bricks missing from the Architecture Studio set – Now that my project is complete, I have compiled a list of additional bricks that you may want to get to make the Architecture Studio set more versatile.
Even though the “30 day challenge” is done, I wanted to share links to related projects I’ve built.
- 05/12/2014 – LEGO Challenge: ‘LEGO House’ Competition Entry