When Kirsty House arrived at Bright Bricks for a summer internship two years ago, she knew she wouldn’t be going anywhere anytime soon. The company south of London builds life-size models using LEGO bricks, which fulfilled a childhood dream of the trained industrial designer: “I always wanted to be a toy designer. My parents own a toy store, and I’ve loved LEGO ever since I can remember.”
Bright Bricks assembles the models itself by hand, one brick at a time. The whole team pitches in when figures are particularly large or deadlines are tight. But Kirsty generally works on designing individual figures: “We create a 3D model of the design the client has agreed on and transform it into a model composed of LEGO bricks.” The virtual model then serves as the basis for the figure made of LEGO bricks and steel. That’s because safety concerns mean that Bright Bricks must use an interior steel structure to stabilize all models taller than one meter.
Designing the steel structures used to take Kirsty several weeks. The old CAD software couldn’t visualize the interior of the 3D model, so she had to count the individual LEGO bricks in each design and then estimate how big the safety structure had to be. “You needed a magnifying glass, and it really gave you a headache,” Kirsty recalls, “and even after we’d figured out more or less what the structure needed to be, we had all sorts of incidents in the past. Often a corner wouldn’t fit, and we had to shave off some steel.”