Beyond the Gray Grid: Rethinking the Imaginary LEGO City




In 1969, Ian McHarg published “Design with Nature”, an influential manifesto that proposed ecological planning as an alternative to the modernist paradigm. His book describes a method for layered landscape analysis that formed the theoretical foundations for the development of today’s GIS systems.

For today’s designers and urbanists, working with landscape forms and ecological systems may seem second nature, but the modernist approach persists in many ways. Most LEGO exhibits show flat and rectilinear cities, constructed with a modular system of gray rectilinear plates.

This talk describes the exhibition “Design with Nature, Design with LEGO”  that shows an imaginary city, planned according to McHarg’s ideas. It demonstrates in simple terms the concepts of ecological urban design, and shows in a playful way how cities can moved beyond the gray grid.

Design with Nature, Design with LEGO flyer


This talk will be relevant for planners, engineers, landscape designers, educators, and the in general interested attendee at Kortdage 2021.

Yderligere uddybning af abstract

Christine Hempel is a Canadian urban designer and researcher now living in Vejle, Denmark.

Beyond the Gray Grid: Rethinking the Imaginary LEGO City
Christine Hempel Design and Planning