Mixing LEGO and Life – A Visit to Relics

It’s been on for around a couple of months now, but last year’s winners of LEGO Masters Australia have set up a stunning and very unique exhibition.

Over the course of Season 2, Jackson and Alex created some beautiful builds, and they’ve done something really special at The Goods Shed in Claremont, WA – Relics: Bricks of the New World. There’s a bit of a back story here – what would minifigures do after the end of the world, when we’re all gone and all that’s left is them and LEGO?

It’s an amazing concept. Jackson and Alex have blended real world objects, like an old fridge, a Volkswagen Beetle, a piano, and even a rubbish pile to make LEGO come alive. There’s plenty of moving parts, lights and interactivity galore, including some fantastic online extra content that’s very educational too. The builds are inspired – there’s loads of steampunk design, something the lads are known to do incredibly well. I was able to ask the guys some questions about the exhibition as well!

Relics is very unique! What was the inspiration for the exhibition?
The brief we were given was to create a LEGO-inspired exhibition that would fill the space of the Goods Shed. We came upon the idea of using large found objects to tick this box. Then, we thought about how LEGO minifigs might be commandeering these objects, how they might be interacting with humans through them, and we came up with the concept of the post-human world where minifigs reign supreme.

What came first? The LEGO builds or the relics?
The relics. Each object was selected according to a certain set of exacting criteria. They had to be large, easily recognisable, have a specific function, their own distinct aesthetic and interior spaces to build in. Once we had the object list, the themes of each world followed naturally.

How many motors are used in the exhibition?
We used a total of 15 motors, a combination of older NXT and newer EV3 servo motors from Mindstorms kits.

Does the morse code in Lampsborough say anything?
it does! It spells out ‘WELCOME’, a message sent out to wayfaring travellers to welcome them to Lampsborough.

What was your favourite build to work on?
Man, it’s so hard to pick a favourite! All of them presented unique technical challenges and were super fun in their own way. The Beetle is probably our favourite. It was the most scaleable, we could have just kept working on that for months on end. We love the grungy, desert post-apocalyptic vibe and had a heap of fun crafting the little stories throughout that build.

What was the most frustrating build to work on?
It’s one of our favourites, but the arcade machine definitely gave us a bit of grief. It’s easily the most technically difficult build. There are a lot of hidden mechanisms and motors behind the walls and trying to design something that’s elegant, compact, does what you want it to, when you want it to, and robust enough to operate all day every day for several months… turns out that’s really tough!

What’s next for Jackson & Alex?
We are about to install a new project, called ‘Street Relics!’ There will be 9 builds hidden in various locations around Subiaco, as part of the annual Scribblers Festival. Each build is a small offshoot of one of the 9 worlds we created for Relics, and expedition of explorers into the wider world! You can grab a treasure map at Scribblers and hunt them down, and see the mysterious tenth RELIC at the festival!

Thanks guys! We’re looking forward to checking it out! Relics is on for another month – make sure you see it before it goes at the end of May.

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