The Guardian reviews the LEGO Architecture, a series of building blocks designed for architects. The reviewers don't hate the product but find it "limiting" and note that the same (or better) results "could be achieved in half the time" with a variety of other options.
The Architecture Studio promises something entirely different. It is the first Lego set that comes without instructions, providing 1,200 bricks and a 250-page manual for inspiration, featuring contributions from a number of high-profile architects, all extolling the virtues of using Lego in their creative process. With a hefty price tag of £150, the kit is designed to “allow you to explore the ideas and principles of architecture”. The jumbled, hastily edited book takes a scattergun approach to such ideas as scale and mass, surface and section, modules and repetition, illustrated with what the practices themselves have made out of Lego. So is it a mine of creative possibility – or an overpriced desk toy? I decided to put it to the test by inviting a group of architect friends over for a playday.
On opening the box, the first sign of seriousness is that colour has been banished. All the pieces are white, with some transparent elements, presumably to shed the childhood associations and make it more like something architects would use. Nor are there any little yellow people (or “minifigs”), as their fixed scale of 1:48 would limit construction to that ratio; whereas a Lego brick, as the manual reminds us, could be a single brick, an entire floor, or a whole block in a sprawling field of towers.
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