Birthdays, for some, are a time to sit back and watch the presents roll in. For Nucleo, however, it was a chance to give rather than receive. On the recent 15th anniversary of their launch, the Torino, Italy-based design and art studio wanted to give their most dextrous and patient fans the means to recreate one of their signature designs, using a tried-and-true material that’s accessible to all ages and skill sets: Lego bricks. There are kits out there for pretty much anything you could possibly imagine, and now that includes Nucleo’s Histogram table. The instructions weigh in at 893 step-by-step pages and call for over 3,000 individual bricks.
The original Histogram table, in plain old scrap wood and epoxy resin, was what emerged when the bar-graph-loving Nucleo team decided to create a 3-D object that represented a 2-D form. It was introduced last year as part of the Unlimited collection for Milan’s Nilufar Gallery. But when the team was invited to make a new, more affordable piece, it provided the perfect opportunity to experiment. "We decided to split the idea from the making," Nucleo’s Alice Carlotta Occleppo tells Co.Design.
Figuring out the pattern was not actually the tough part. "It’s easier than you could imagine," she says, with a huge hat tip to Lego’s Digital Designer software, which automated all the difficult back-end work of sorting out the what-goes-where and generating a step-by-step set of build instructions. The biggest challenge was actually sourcing all the available pieces—3,193 bricks for each table—which came from a variety of online outlets and turned the production process into a bit of a treasure hunt.
The Lego Histogram will be presented as part of the Traits d’Union d’Empathie exhibition at the Biennale Internationale Design in Saint-Etienne through September 2013, along with a selected collection of products that demonstrate a close relationship between designer and user. Plus, Version 2.0 is currently in progress, along with an additional series featuring more than 7,000 Lego bricks.