This is the type of diagram I’d like to see in a doctor’s office. LEGO can be used to make life fun and free for many of us but there are plenty of stories of our favorite plastic parts being used in the professional world for one purpose or another. This display by Nannan Zhang is a marriage of science and art that helps bring light to the inner workings of a disease that plagues millions of people every year. This model of a neuron being attacked by the immune system represents how Multiple Sclerosis affects the central nervous system resulting in the myriad of symptoms that patients experience. White droid arm dendrites connect to a spider web representing the nucleus. A flex hose functions as the axion running through myelin sheaths made with domes and bottom domes that become progressively more broken down by the various colorful immune cells that surround it. Set against that smooth, black background, this piece is fit for display and would surely engage those that saw it in trying to understand more about this disease.
Spring and fall. Life and death – and the cycle of rebirth. Always and forever Mother Nature will maintain a balance. This subtle yet beautiful LEGO tensegrity sculpture by TBB alum Nannan Zhang is a metaphor for that truth. Most of the sculptures we see have a single 2-chain/string feature. This one employs another chain to give it two distinct sides, like a scale. While it’s done very well here, you can also imagine a plethora of other possibilities for the technique. It’s probably unintentional, but knowing this accentuates the metaphor even more. Give that one a good think!
These builds were a huge hit this past year amongst builders. Take a moment to look back on all of the tensegrity creations we’ve featured, include one that is 3-tiered! Also, while you’re at it, you can check out Nannan’s other models.
TBB alumn Nannan Zhang has always had a penchant for fishing out the oddball pieces that clutter the bottom of most of our parts bins, and making something clean and elegant with them. This time he’s really found a true oddball, though, because the centerpieces of this spaceship are giant teal Duplo balls, sitting as what I presume are reactor spheres. The third sphere on the triangular ship is one of the clear tourist spheres from the Jurassic World sets. It all comes together neatly to make a delightfully alien ship design.
What has Brothers Brick alumni Nannan Zhang been up to lately? Well, apparently he’s been watching this Youtube video and had been inspired to build a LEGO version of the NieR Automata opera singer boss Simone. Knowing nothing of the subject matter, I clicked on the video and was immediately intrigued. Simone is a machine so obsessed with beauty that she cannibalizes other androids and adorns herself with their corpses. (There’s probably a good joke in there somewhere about putting lotion in the basket but damned if I can figure it out!) She has two corpses hanging off her collar assembly and several more linked hand-in-hand around her waist. This effect, Nannan tells us, is achieved using a product from Crazy Bricks which is the only non-LEGO aftermarket feature on this model. The tattered dress is made up of several copies of Lord Vladek’s cape. A video game monster boss obsessed with beauty; now that is terrifying!