Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lego Creators '3-in-1' boxes. We can do better

Tyler Nelson bought a box of 50 lego pieces and challenged himself to make 50 designs with it.

Here is his public Google+ page of photos of his fifty creations.  Via Kottke.

Hmmm. The pieces look familiar to me.  I gave my son a set with similar pieces.  The three 'official' designs were for a fighter jet, a prop-driven plane like a WWII corsair or the like and...one other.

I played with lego from whatever age my parents first bought them into my teens and learned to make many different designs or items.  Around 90% of my blocks were, well, blocky.  They were square or rectangular and of uniform height.  Oh, there were a few wedges, to make roofs properly.

Although I do like all the new parts and sets that are available, they feel very single-purpose.  I still enjoy making the stuff with my son but it feels more like following a recipe than actual invention.  A related question here is 'how much do I encourage my son to play with Legos?" I want him to have fun and play, not explicitly study and learn while using them.  For this reason, I've been a little hands off.  We make the origin designs together, then I leave them to him.

I've read that one serious blocker for creativity is too blank a page, too many options.  Perhaps in my case the limits of square and rectangular blocks encouraged me to work around them and treasure the few pieces that were non-standard.

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