Lego redesigns the world according to kids

New renders created by architect Dara Huang reimagine community buildings through the eyes of children

A computer adjusted image with a residential street corner in London build by Lego and two flying cars moving over the street.
Lego Rebuild the World – Eco Home
(Image credit: press)

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!

People walking towards an area with lego blocks.

Lego Rebuild the World – Home

(Image credit: press)

Lego building next to offices. The lego building has four wind-turbines rising above it. There are trees on the street level.

Lego Rebuild the World – Eco Office

(Image credit: press)

A lego office with trees at various levels covering the Lego brick and a trampoline on the roof.

Lego Rebuild The World – Healthy Office

(Image credit: press)

A lego school playground featuring a large yellow pick-up truck, multi-colour Lego blocks, and 'The Teacher's Spa' at the top.

Lego Rebuild The World – School

(Image credit: press)

In the middle of a London Street in a multi-coloured Lego brick display with a large display board on top with cup-cakes in the image and the words 'Cupcake Kitchen' written above.

Lego Rebuild The World – Tech School

(Image credit: press)


Elly Parsons is the Digital Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees and its social platforms. She has been with the brand since 2015 in various roles, spending time as digital writer – specialising in art, technology and contemporary culture – and as deputy digital editor. She was shortlisted for a PPA Award in 2017, has written extensively for many publications, and has contributed to three books. She is a guest lecturer in digital journalism at Goldsmiths University, London, where she also holds a masters degree in creative writing. Now, her main areas of expertise include content strategy, audience engagement, and social media.