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Designer insight: Woon Tze Chee

Many LEGO set designers use our BrickLists feature to maintain a list of the sets they've worked on and often provide interesting insights about their involvement.

Once a week we publish an entry from one of their lists on the home page to increase awareness of this information and to encourage more designers to create them.

Woon Tze Chee wrote this about their work on 21323 Grand Piano:

1st August 2020 Release

The biggest inspiration for me to work on this model is my wife, I saw this as the best opportunity to combine both our passion for music and LEGO together. Donny had some very clever and creative solutions, unfortunately they were not suitable as a LEGO set. We ended up redesigning the model so it would pass our quality and safety standards. However we still wanted to preserve what the fans voted for so the functions, features and overall shape and size of the model remained identical to the original.

I am particularly proud of the piano action, which comprises of the key, hammer and damper. This is largely thanks to guidance from Mike Psiaki and Carl Merriam. Our design balances the key on a cone element (11610) allowing it to pivot like a seesaw. Despite the fact that this will be hidden in the piano, we still made it as authentic as possible.

We introduced the powered up function, which allows you to play music with your LEGO model. Could we have made each key plays a different note? Maybe, but it would most definitely increases the cost and complexity DRASTICALLY. Our solution is a fun interaction toy where pressing any key plays the next note of a music piece. One of which anyone can have fun with, including those who do not know how to play a real piano.

Designing the LEGO Ideas Grand Piano has been a functional, structural, as well as aesthetic challenge. Having many moving parts inter-dependent of one another, and to make sure they works correctly and consistently every time is a real challenge. Even more so when they are built from LEGO bricks.

There are 2 exclusive elements, designed by graphic designer Crystal Marie Fontan. A vintage LEGO logo printed in gold, and a music sheet featuring the song composed by Donny titled “Playday”.

Fun Fact: The working title of this project was “Schroeder”, named after the comic character who is skilled in playing the toy piano.

Continue reading »

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