113(opposite) Mont-Saint-Michel 2010 (above) Salisbury Cathedral 2008
I know that you build at different scales, depend-
ing on the piece. How do you go about deter-
mining the scale you will use?
It often depends upon the scale of a particular
element. The White House’s scale depended on
the scale of the windows. Notre Dame’s scale
depended on the scale of the buttresses.
I understand you put your mathematical back-
ground to good use when building. Could you
give some examples?
The Roman Coliseum is an ellipse with a width-
to-length ratio of 6:7. There is no formula for
the circumference of an ellipse like there is fora
circle. To find the circumference, I use the arc
length formula from calculus. The Dome of the
Rock required a bit of trigonometry. To build the
dome accurately, I wrote some software that eas-
ily allowed me to build any dome shape. (If you
want to use it, just ask!)
How often do you sit down to build?
I applied for a job at the new LEGO store that was
opening in Cleveland. With so many appli cants,
they had group interviews. The first question
asked to my group was “when was the last time
you played with LEGO?” The first five answers
were “when I was a kid,” “a few years ago,” “the
last time I visited my nephew,” and then my
answer: “23 minutes ago.”