BrickManGraeme Builds at TIFF Bell Lightbox

CKOcF6aWIAE7V3GNot every project I do is out in the public eye, but this latest creation was not only out in a very public place, but it was also entirely interactive!
When I was approached to create a model to promote the launch of the documentary, A LEGO Brickumentary, the original request was simply for a replica of the TIFF Bell Lightbox building. If you aren’t familiar with the tower, it is a unique building that would look great in LEGO – but I had another idea, a model that wasn’t just created by me, but by hundreds of people!
Having had a chance to see a sneak preview of the documentary in Chicago as part of Brickworld 2015, I knew that the heart of the film was about how people formed communities around their love of LEGO, and how people from around the world have taken LEGO and had their lives transformed through it. Though I am not featured in the movie (I didn’t attend any of the conventions where the documentarians were filming), I certainly know quite a bit about how LEGO can transform lives and create a sense of fellowship.
So I proposed we do something different than a static model, and create something that would speak to the message of the movie. In conjunction with Simon Liu, we came up with a vision for a pillar that would have LEGO studs on four sides, with mosaics built out of LEGO that would encourage interactivity. Simon and I would build the initial mosaics on each side of the pillar, but the real fun would come from the community, as the mosaics transformed through public collaboration. We would open the posters up to being defaced through LEGO graffiti, and create something new.
We had a tight timeline, but fortunately, we were able to use pieces on hand to complete the project. Brad Rothwell at Dirty Moose Designs worked with us to construct and created the pillar that we could set up on site, and we spent two days building and filming the creation of the mosaics. Eric Leis and Nick Della Mora, two local LEGO AFOLs and regular collaborators came out to build, which was a big help. Simon and I also took some time to talk to the cameras about what inspires us and how LEGO has shaped our lives.
The final product was a hit with the people at eOne who produced the film, as well as TIFF and the general public. Over the weeks that the installation was present, it transformed from three basic pictures into a hodgepodge of public works that reflect the diverse nature of the people of Toronto. It continually metamorphosed into new constructions and reflections of those who contributed, and allowed the public to take ownership of it as well.
This was a really fun project for me, as I got to do something that redefined my experience of a collaborative build. I loved being able to follow the creation on social media and see how it was growing and changing. It just goes to show that it only takes a little bit of LEGO to bring people together in new and innovative ways.
The model will be up until Thursday, August 13th, so swing on by the TIFF Bell Lightbox to get a chance to play around with it. Also, be sure to check out the video embedded here for more information about the creation as well.

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