Brick by brick, Griffith University research assistant and PhD candidate Jennifer Campbell draws on her engineering experience as she attempts to build a path to victory on TV show LEGO Masters.
Jennifer is a contestant on the Nine Network block building competition, hosted by comedian Hamish Blake, and has been using skills she gained in her engineering degree to construct jaw-dropping creations with her teammate, Jodie.
LEGO Masters pits eight pairs of “Brick Heads” against one another to design and create incredible LEGO builds that fit a brief.
“My favourite builds from the show so far are the Secret Agent dock explosion – because who doesn’t love exploding LEGO – and the Ugly Duckling because it was my first time using Technic Lego and I managed to create a mechanical waterfall,” Jennifer said.
“I love building natural things like trees and gardens but also pirates, so my favourite creation before LEGO Masters was my Pirate Ship Treehouse which combines both these things.”
She fell in love with the Danish construction toy when she was a kid, remembering the need to be creative and strategic with the mish-mash of blocks her family owned.
“We couldn’t really afford much LEGO growing up, so much of what we had was second hand or passed down, so we had a very eclectic collection,” Jennifer said.
“However, this meant that we had to be more creative and work with what we had.
“Every school holidays, my mum would dump the box on the table and we would build together making cities and other creations until we had to go back to school. “
Jennifer graduated from Griffith with a Bachelor of Engineering/Bachelor of Science in 2011 and said LEGO building and engineering shared similar skills.
“When you free build with LEGO there is a lot of design and problem solving, which are also key skills for engineers,” she said.
“I think LEGO is a great creative outlet to help with the problem-solving process but also it encourages a different way of thinking.
“Studying Engineering at Griffith taught me a lot about problem-solving, project management and learning fast – skills that really helped me on the show.”
The PhD candidate and co-founder and coordinator Kungullanji Summer Research Program even found a familiar face from Griffith University on set and said she loved how LEGO managed to bring out the “inner child”.
“I made so many great friends, including the crew who worked on LEGO Masters – which included Griffith Film School alumnus Rachel Shapiro,” Jennifer said.
“The use of LEGO sparks that nostalgia in adults and I believe brings out a childlike enthusiasm that can lead to much wilder ideas.
“LEGO provides a quality tool for creative expression but unlike paint on a canvas, LEGO brings imagination into a three-dimensional reality.
“It is a testing ground to build and rebuild new things, push the limits and create wonder.”