This exercise helps reinforce the basics of design thinking – rapid ideation and prototyping to produce everything from products to complex narratives to innovative concepts. And it's all using LEGO!
If you thought your time playing with LEGO had come to an end when you hit middle school, it’s time to dust off the cobwebs and pull those puppies out of the attic. LEGO is not only fun for all ages, but a key tool for design thinkers, creatives, and strategists to understand the concept of layers, and how the best results come from multiple rounds of rapid ideation and iteration.
How to facilitate:
- Give all participants a pile of assorted legos. Be sure to include a mix of items, people, and basic blocks. The more variety the better!
- For the first challenge, participants will have 3 minutes to “build something that flies” (or any product or device of your choosing.) Optionally as a variant on this challenge, you could ask participants to partner up and create something for each other.
- At the end of the first challenge, ask participants to share their inventions in detail.
- For the second challenge, participants must choose a favorite song, and then will have 3 minutes to use the LEGOs as they see fit to represent the song. Once again, at the end of the challenge, ask participants to share their creations and rationale.
- For the final challenge, participants must use the LEGOs to depict the future of listening to music in 3 minutes, explaining their thinking.
Depending on how you utilize this exercise, the LEGO challenge has a lot of powerful takeaways that you can tailor as needed.
First and foremost, this exercise helps reinforce the basics of design thinking – rapid ideation and prototyping to produce everything from products to complex narratives to innovative concepts.
In the context of digital design, this challenge teaches participants to understand the basic structure of Layers when it comes to utilizing design tools like Adobe Photoshop, Figma, or Sketch.
It can be used to educate participants on component-based design, using the LEGO blocks as a metaphor for elements, and the things they create as the components to produce a page or site.