Building Life to Scale
By Laura Simmons '19
Dr. Luke Lyons ’08 ’18 is proving that you’re never too old to play with LEGOs. What began as his childhood hobby has transformed into an endeavor that is captivating Aggies of all ages. Using his imagination, he recreates iconic Texas A&M University buildings on a miniature scale. So far, Lyons has built a replica of the Texas A&M Academic Building, the train station that formerly resided on campus and the 1930 Navasota High School.
His construction of the Academic Building is as creative as it is impressive. Because it’s not a manufactured set, he hunted down each LEGO part he needed, including many that were no longer in production. Several of his parts are taken from other LEGO sets or constructed manually, such as the hand-painted Reveille in the bottom right.
“I built the Academic Building while I was working on my dissertation,” said Lyons, who earned his Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction this year. “It helped me relax, but kept my mind actively engaged. Some of my best research ideas originated while I was building.”
Lyons’ masterpieces are inspired by the LEGO Modular Buildings—large, intricate designs aimed toward audiences 16-years-old and up. When LEGO was first formed, many of the sets were small and basic, but with more complex pieces and structures now available, building opportunities are endless. “When you build a puzzle, you build someone else’s image,” he explained. “When you build with LEGOs, it’s your design. It teaches you that there is not one right way to build your own creation, and that’s a wonderful thing to learn.”