LEGOs are universal world-building units and a popular gateway into architecture. Of course, you can build almost anything with them, cars, spaceships, you name it, but buildings of all kinds — from police-stations to castles — are some of the most popular subjects. What makes LEGOs so appealing to young, and not-so-young architects? What, specifically, makes them a good analogy for the design of buildings? In this episode, Stewart purchases a box of LEGOs and uses it as a springboard to talk about what he’s learned from the toy block system. From lessons on modularity and proportion, to grammar and resolution, to compositional categories of additive and subtractive, the video breaks down how these fundamental concepts apply to both LEGOs and to the history and design of architecture.
Architecture with Stewart is a YouTube journey exploring architecture’s deep and enduring stories in all their bewildering glory. Weekly videos and occasional live events breakdown a wide range of topics related to the built environment in order to increase their general understanding and advocate their importance in shaping the world we inhabit.
Stewart Hicks is an architectural design educator that leads design studios and lecture courses as an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also serves as an Associate Dean in the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts and is the co-founder of the practice Design With Company. His work has earned awards such as the Architecture Record Design Vanguard Award or the Young Architect’s Forum Award and has been featured in exhibitions such as the Chicago Architecture Biennial and Design Miami, as well as at the V&A Museum and Tate Modern in London. His writings can be found in the co-authored book Misguided Tactics for Propriety Calibration, published with the Graham Foundation, as well as essays in MONU magazine, the AIA Journal Manifest, Log, bracket, and the guest-edited issue of MAS Context on the topic of character architecture.