Lego redesigns the world according to kids
New renders created by architect Dara Huang reimagine community buildings through the eyes of children
A group of year four pupils from an inner-city London primary school have sampled what it’s like to be real-world architects, as part of The Lego Group’s Rebuild the World campaign, which looks to celebrate the power of kids’ creativity.
An ideas session (not unlike those held at the start of a grown-up architecture brief) was held with 60 children, before the November 2020 national lockdown came into effect in the UK. It was facilitated by architect Dara Huang (founder of DH Liberty) and Lego ‘play agent’ David Pallash alongside broadcaster and documentary filmmaker Reggie Yates, who set the brief. The children were tasked with building either a school, house or office using Lego bricks, with one simple outcome: design something that makes people happy.
The project follows research commissioned by The Lego Group, which found that children can get creative more easily compared to adults. The extensive scientific review revealed that children face fewer limitations when accessing a creative frame of mind, meaning their ideas are more free-flowing and plentiful.
As expected, creativity ran riot. Think: chocolate swimming pools, monster truck shows, and slides instead of stairs. Key themes highlighted by the children also show a sensitivity that encourages optimistic impressions of the next generation of thought leaders. Accessibility, mindfulness, mental health, self-sufficiency and the environment were all high on the design agenda. The concepts promoted open, nature-infused spaces, offices with inside gardens to aid relaxation at work, alongside solar panel usage and mechanisms to collect rainwater for more sustainable living.
The children’s Lego designs were transformed by Huang into real life community building plans, in the form of colourful digital renderings (pictured). She explains: ‘Seeing the brick builds the children created really opened my eyes to the amazing creative solutions they naturally come up with, and how that thinking can be applied to the real world. With my own work, I feel inspired to think differently and with fewer barriers or constraints.’
As well as inspiring original design thinking, the project aimed to be beneficial – and most of all, fun – for the children. Additional Lego-commissioned research shows that 94 per cent of parents globally believe that play helps develop creative skills. In other words, let’s take play seriously! §