Thursday, July 30, 2009

Build Events This Weekend (US and UK)

Two very different events this Saturday, both being featured here on frighteningly short notice. I'll be following both projects to see how they turn out - both present unique engineering challenges.

In the US, in Washington DC, we have From Spark to Click: Celebrating National Inventors' Month hosted by the American History Museum. From the blurb above (which has all the details except for how long this model will remain built and accessible to the public), it sounds like this is being co-sponsored by the company and will be similar to the build events occasionally held to promote LEGO stores. The light bulb being built at this event is a very unusual choice for such an event because of the balance issues involved.

In the UK, in Dorking, Surrey, England, Top Gear presenter James May is attempting to build a 1:1 scale model of a house - and then live in it for a few days afterwards. This has been something of a media frenzy in some areas over the past few days, but it appears to me that the BBC has the definitive article on the event. The engineering tasks here are obvious: plumbing is not something LEGO is made for (trust me, no matter how hard it may seem to separate a pair of bricks, it's still not waterproof).

...I have a feeling it will take more than one day to build a full-scale house, but I guess we'll have to see how many volunteers pitch in (and how well said volunteers can build!)

EDIT 8/3/2009: Surprisingly, neither of these models is currently visitable. The light bulb was taken down shortly after completion, and James May's house has had its LEGO chunks set aside so that a concrete foundation can be poured (I don't think I need to explain that concrete is not made by LEGO and thus is technically a form of cheating). From what I gather, both events were quite busy. You can send in your first-hand accounts from these or any other events to to be shared on this blog.

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