Building intent: Josh Lancaster's Lego landscapes

At Idealog, we regularly celebrate our community’s brilliance. But for our just released design issue, we wanted to showcase some of that brilliance in a slightly different way. So we contacted Lego to see if it could provide a few blocks to send out to some of our favourite humans from the fields of art, design, architecture and creative business. Here's what artist Josh Lancaster came up with when he swapped paint for plastic. 

Creators: Josh Lancaster (and the Lancaster ‘mini-figure’)

Josh Lancaster spent many years in the world of advertising and established himself as one of the country’s best creatives. Thankfully for us, he decided to pack it in last year and focus on something else that he’s very good at: art

Description: “In classic Andy Warhol/slash ECD style I asked somebody else to do ALL the work on this one ... The Lancaster mini-figure hasn’t produced much lately; in fact the whole time I’ve known him he’s just been blu-tacked to the speaker in the studio. He’s a bit anxious about now having to produce something after dressing like an artist for years. This should teach him for being a poser. ‘From pressure comes diamonds,’ I tell him and leave him to it.


I popped back in to find he’d sorted all the colours from the Lego box into some 4 litre paint tins he’d got from Resene. A remarkable feat really considering his size. However, I suspect he’s procrastinating, so I give him a rev and leave him to it.


Today I find him 600-odd bricks into an epic Waimarama Beach piece featuring a 3D cumulonimbus hovering over Bare Island. He gives me that look of ‘What do you reckon?’ I tell him I think it looks a bit ridiculous, like it’s possibly off-brief and that he’s totally going to run out of blue bricks. He looks like I’ve hurt his feelings. I try to be a little more constructive and suggest ditching his big cloud and perhaps focusing more on the simplicity of the bricks and their palette to explore iconic landscape forms of the central Hawkes Bay hill country at a scale 50x smaller. He just looks at me and I leave him to it.


Here’s where we got to.*

*By the way, I found this project to be greatly cathartic. It turns out almost 30 percent of the Lego in my kids’ Lego box wasn’t actually Lego. Various non-Lego items included: weapons and limbs from long-biffed out action figures, plastic toys from McDonald’s, those Blockhedz from Z, those plastic Ferraris from Shell, crackers and raisins, building blocks, assorted treasures from the beach, Pokemon cards, pen lids, broken crayons, Nerf bullets, Monopoly houses and more dice than I think we have board games for. As a result the lid can now go back on the Lego.

  • We've got one Lancaster mini-figure masterpiece to give away to a lucky Idealogger. If you want it, email with the subject line 'Block Party'. Bribes and/or praise and/or sob stories will greatly enhance your chances of winning. 

Building intent #1: Spaceworks' Lego house. 

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