Lego Randomness


Every now and then I find that a random theme pops up in my life and I see some connections that weren't there before.  Here's one that just happened with Lego.

On Friday, Wen and I went and saw the exhibit "The Copenhagen Experiments" at the Storefront for Art & Architecture.  It showcased five different projects that  "portray a new breed of urban life forms, both locally specific and generally applicable, introducing residential diversity, programmatic alchemy, urban ascension, modular mania and political pro-action into the architectural species of the Danish welfare state."  The highlight was a massive structure made out of Lego to symbolize the use of pre-fab materials in the Marshall years (when Denmark was rebuilt) and the impact they continue to have on Danish architecture.  Here's a copy of the flyer:

I got home that night and was reading Microserfs by Douglas Coupland when I came across this little passage:

...Abe lectured us about his Theory of Lego.  It felt like school.

"Have you even noticed that Lego plays a far more important role in the lives of computer people than in the general population?  To a one, computer technicians spent huge portions of their youth heavily steeped in Lego and its highly focused, solitude-promoting culture.  Lego was their commone denominator toy."

Nobody was disagreeing.

"Now, I think it is safe to say that Lego is a potent three-dimensional modeling tool and a language in itself.  And prolonged exposure to any language, either universal or verbal, undoubtedly alters the way a child perceives the universe.  Examine the toy briefly..."

We were riveted.

"First, Lego is ontologically not unlike computers.  This is to say that a computer by itself is, well...nothing.  Computers only become something when given a specific application.  Ditto Lego.  To use an Excel spreadsheet or to build a racing car - this is why we have computers and Lego.  A PC or a Lego brick by itself is inert and pointless: a doorstop; litter.  Made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic, Lego's discrete modular bricks are indestructible and fully intended to be nothing except themselves."

We passed the snacks.  "Soylent Melts": Jack cheese and jalapenos microwaved onto Triscuits.

"Second, Lego is 'binary' - a yes/no structure; that is to say, the little nubblies atop any given Lego block are either connected to another unit of Lego or they are not.  Analog relationships do not exist."

"Monogamous?" asks Susan.

"Possibly.  An interesting analogy.  Third, Lego anticipates a future of pixelated ideas.  It is digital.  The charm and fun of Lego derives from reducing the organic to the modular: a zebra built of little cubes; Cape Cod houses digitized through the Hard Copy TV lens that pixelates the victim's face into little squares of color."

And then today I read in Ping Mag about an Asian competition called Brick by Brick whose goal was to raise awareness of architectural preservation is Asia.  The architects were all given Lego kits to create a design; that's a photo from the article above.

What a great random meme.


Monday, November 12, 2007

# Exception: TypeError
# Message  : contentDiv.getElementsByClassName("comment-manage-link").each is not a function