Lego, the ubiquitous plastic toy, has become a global brand: there are 86 pieces of it for every person on the earth. It even has its own Hollywood film.
The building blocks were dreamt up by Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter in Billund, Denmark. He started a business in 1934 making carved wooden toys.
During the Nazi occupation of the country, anxious parents would buy Christiansen’s toys to cheer up their children. But the war created a wood shortage. So Christiansen bought a plastic moulding machine – which is how the modern Lego bricks as we know them began.
In this clip, Tom Dyckhoff explains that far from being a simple toy, Lego has a clear relationship with real-world buildings – and the colourful plastic blocks challenged the austere modern architecture of the post-war era.
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