In an attempt to inspire and encourage innovative thinking, the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) shipped boxes of Lego bricks to 10 of the top architectural firms in the world. The result was a fascinating collage of designs that sprawled in every other direction.
The brief for the challenge was fairly simple; create a building of the future that responds to a problem of the future. The only real limitation was that it was required to fit into the 14-by-14-by-18 inch display box in the museum’s latest exhibition; Brick by Brick. Other than that they were encouraged to hack their designs as much as possible, using methods such as 3D printing for instance. Equipped with the same set of 1,200 white architecture Lego bricks, the renowned designers set to work creating the structures of the future.
One design firm were particularly revolutionary, refusing even to follow the simple terms of the challenge. Instead, Chicago’s School of Architecture scrapped the white bricks, in favor of chunky Lego Duplo pieces, which they then chopped and sculptured into a sporadic pile. The school claimed that the only way to discover the solutions to future conditions is to explore through unconventional and disobedient methods.
Straying from the given parameters, they aimed to challenge preconceptions and escape contemporary anxieties of the future.
Another firm, Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture, used their entry to tackle the impeding threat of rising sea levels. The design illustrates how we could harness the problem, creating a tower, the Vertical Reef, which is a self-sustaining ecosystem depending upon the ocean. It cleans saltwater for human consumption and uses the power of the ocean tides to cultivate an alternative energy source.
Kengo Kuma’s Organic City took the project in an entirely different direction, creating a geometric spiraling pattern that challenges the concrete culture of our current climate. Kuma claims that by dismantling concrete architecture, the future manifests as consciousness atomized into small particles (or in this case, white Lego bricks).
From rising sea levels, to population growth, to our entire belief system that exist on the subject of architecture, the challenge set by MSI certainly provoked the constructive imagination of the architectural world of design. Who knew such ambitious visions could be brought to life in through the medium of Lego.
|Header image||Joe Shlabotnik via Foter.com / CC BY|
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