Block Star

By Marcia Faye

For generations of people, LEGO® (formed from the Danish words for “play well”) bricks serve as the memorable building blocks of their youth. Established in 1932 by master carpenter and joiner Ole Kirk Christiansen in Billund, Denmark, the company first produced wooden toys and household items before expanding into molded plastic in the late 1940s. Today the brand has a portfolio of some 650 products and was the subject of an animated film—The LEGO Movie—with a sequel in the works. The company launched a Sustainable Materials Centre last year as part of its goal to use sustainable materials in all core LEGO products by 2030.

Rocco Buttliere (ARCH 4th year) began playing with LEGOs at age 6—and has never stopped. His whimsical LEGO models of Chicago’s most notable buildings [background] have been exhibited at locales such as AMA Plaza in downtown Chicago and the Brick 2015 LEGO convention in London. Many of Buttliere’s creations will be on display at Illinois Tech’s Block City 2016 event on Saturday, July 23 at S. R. Crown Hall.

You can read more about Buttliere in the IIT Magazine Online Exclusive “Chicago, Chunk By Chunk” at