by Catherine Teegarden Center for Architecture Foundation
Thanks to a partnership with LEGO this Archtober, the Center for Architecture hosted three sold-out youth and family programs focused on creating architecture with LEGO bricks. At our monthly FamilyDay@theCenter program on 10.17.15, 100 visitors spanning three generations worked together to create a LEGO city. An introductory slide talk got people thinking about the different types of buildings, structures, and spaces that make up a city. Families then got to work creating residential, commercial, industrial, and other types of buildings to populate an empty city map laid out at the back of Tafel Hall. An ample supply of LEGO bricks of all shapes, sizes, and colors fueled their imaginations and the final city boasted bioswales and park benches, a hockey arena, police station, bank, grout factory, floating concert venue, and many more key city components, contributed by both parents and kids.
Parents were not invited to the Teen LEGO workshop on 10.25.15, where 30 young designers impressed us all with their creativity and LEGO building skills. Center for Architecture Lead Design Educator Tim Hayduk began the session by presenting examples of real buildings to illustrate architectural concepts such as modularity and symmetry, linking LEGO to real buildings, such as Moshe Safdie’s Habitat and the Villa Rotonda. Students were asked to reflect on their own design thinking and create a building that connected to one of these themes using the LEGO Architecture Studio kit, comprised solely of white and clear pieces.
The Center for Architecture also helped place architect volunteers in Barnes & Noble stores around the city for a special in-store architecture session exploring symmetry using the Architecture Studio kit. Aimed at teens and adults, the limited colors of this kit forces a focus on form, and the kids responded with some very creative constructions.