A few years ago, I sat through one of those click-bait titled, creative-agency talks at Eurobest, where one of the highly decorated creative directors on stage announced that he was relocating his entire family to a small town in Denmark, called Billund.
To enrol his children in a school built by (but presumably not of) Lego.
The move was driven by the ambition to give his kids the most stimulating and creative upbringing possible.
So did they grow up to become some kind of super-creative director or just have an incredible childhood education? I’ll probably never know.
But what I do know is that the company that makes colourful plastic bricks inspires every generation it touches. And vice versa.
So, with this aforementioned story in mind, I thought the least I could do was up sticks from Tin Man Towers and shoot over to Coal Drops Yard, to check out the Lego and Walala House of Dots installation.
I’m glad I did. It was pretty cool.
What They Did
French designer, Camille Walala has helped build a life-size toy house out of Lego’s new 2D product (tiles rather than its usual bricks), joyfully called House of Dots. Well. Sort of.
In reality, it’s eight containers stacked up to create a series of five rooms where the decor comprises of a colourful mash-up of Dots and Walala’s distinctive patterns. And it looks great.
There’s also an Instagram-friendly ball pit in the bathroom and a slide.
The house’s other immersive rooms allow the littluns to get their hands-on Dots and decorate everything from kitchen tiles to funky bracelets.
There was something utterly charming about the scale of everything inside – from the kitchen tables for playing, to the mini cushions just a few inches off the ground for sitting.
The whole execution managed to be both visually stunning, yet relatively modest in size (if you yourself are adult size) all at once. Maybe it’s a Danish thing?
The experience taps into a more expressive and playful sentiment than even the standard bricks give – focusing on customisation and crafting as opposed to building-based play. And the palette, like the product itself, is dominated by beautiful pastels; contrasting with bold primaries and black-and-white shapes.
I was lucky to get in.
At 10am, there was already a queue of very expensive looking buggies as pre-booked groups of children and parents made their way into the free attraction.
Despite not booking (hadn’t spotted that bit in the press), I was quickly whisked around by an excellent ‘brand ambassador’ who knew everything about the installation.
It’s interesting that 200+ local children helped build the house, but it was a French designer they lent on for some added media pull and cred.
I can’t help but feel this was a bit un-Lego and at odds with the ethos of the brand and especially this product.
The location gets a thumbs up. But it felt like a bit of a potential risk.
As smart as the development is, it’s not visually iconic and in my experience, it can be eerily quiet and soulless.
It’s also sat directly under a ton of Samsung branding courtesy of its offices above and is ultimately in an upmarket retail destination.
But it makes a change from Potters Field. And it’s a lot closer than Billund.