Notes

  • 1. We can define LEGO worlds broadly as environments or narratives (real, virtual, or fantastical) in which we find or create LEGO built structures or diorama-like scenes. There are infinitely many such LEGO worlds but I am concerned instead with LEGO worlds more narrowly defined by the kinds of elements they include. The collection of such LEGO worlds is fairly small, corresponding to the evolution, over time, of LEGO designs and of LEGO traditions, usage, and practice.
  • 2. On The Big Duck of Flanders, see Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour, Learning from Las Vegas: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form, revised edition (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1972/1977).
  • 3. Nathan Sawaya, The Art of the Brick: A Life in LEGO (San Francisco: No Starch Press, 2015).
  • 4. LEGO designers are endlessly inventive in response to this challenge; see Didier Enjary, The Unofficial LEGO Advanced Building Techniques Guide., available at http://photos.freelug.org/main.php?g2_view=core .DownloadItem&g2_itemId=33732 (accessed February 23, 2017).
  • 5. Consider another sort of case, where LEGO structures represent real- world structures, as models of, for example, the White House or the Roman Coliseum. These structures prompt historical or other contextually determined aesthetic judgments, at least partly independent of formal properties of those structures. But use of LEGO in models representative of real-world architecture is a special case of original LEGO world architecture and doesn’t speak to the broader realm of free play in non-representative, original designs.
  • 6. In addition to the all-white-and-transparent Architecture Studio set, LEGO Architecture kits allow construction of models of iconic architectural works, such as Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye. As kits for building specific, actual works, these do not offer the robust design possibilities of the Architecture Studio elements, original System bricks and elements, or the original System as expanded in the Scale Model line (1962) with, among other elements, plate-shaped bricks. LEGO models of extant architectural works are documented, along with guidelines for inventive architectural LEGO modeling, in Tom Alphin, The LEGO Architect (San Francisco: No Starch Press, 2015).
  • 7. Glenn Parsons and Allen Carlson, Functional Beauty (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2008).
 
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