DIY Public Projects - Design Bureau

Photos courtesy of Aryn Beitz


DIY Public Projects

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

by Aryn Beitz

Can't believe your city has ignored that giant sidewalk pothole for months? Maybe you should dispatch some creative repair action. Dispatchwork, a project that restores deteriorating walls and sidewalks via one of the world’s most celebrated toy, the lego, is gaining international attention.

Spanning the globe from Pucon to Tokyo, and just about everywhere in between, repairers create clever, colorful lego designs in the cracks of buildings, walls, and sidewalks. "The stones can sit in the holes with sheer tension if well constructed,” says Jan Vormann, Dispatchwork's founder. “The project is partly about temporariness of objects in public spaces and thus, the stones are not glued in any way.”

I ventured out in search of the perfect Dispatchwork canvas during a recent trip to Marrakech. What ensued was more than a lego party in the desert. With the help of eight curious Moroccan children—all of whom had never touched a lego—I began to understand why this form of intervention art has gained an international following. It’s fun, engaging, and it makes people smile in the most unconventional way. Had it not been for my flight back to London—the one I nearly missed building lego—I’d had stayed there all day with the kids, repairing the wall one lego at a time.