A Behind the Scenes Look at JK Brickworks’ LEGO Builder Jason Allemann
You might say Jason Allemann has turned his childhood dreams into reality. As a child, he enjoyed playing with LEGO sets in creative ways. During his teens, that “play” turned into something more. He would often use his own LEGO creations as part of his school science and engineering projects. Fast forward to today, Jason Allemann, aka JK Brickworks, has turned his passion for LEGO into a sizable following on YouTube. Close to 140,000 subscribers tune in to see Jason’s custom LEGO creations and discover what Jason may come up with next. In hopes of inspiring future LEGO innovators, we asked Jason about his interest in LEGO and what he plans to do next.
What’s your favorite LEGO piece and why?
Wow, that’s a tough question, and there are so many to choose from, but I would probably say the 1 x 1 brick with one stud on one side. It, along with other similar pieces, allow you change the build direction, from the traditional stacking of pieces on top of each other to building horizontally with pieces on their sides. This really expands the possibilities of adding detail to a model.
What’s your dream LEGO creation?
It has long been on my list to build an elaborate Rube Goldberg Machine, with complex inter-dependent mechanisms as well as highly detailed decorative elements.
What have you learned from LEGO?
It really is incredible how many real-life mechanical systems can be recreated with LEGO parts. All the pieces are available to build engines with working pistons, multi-gear transmissions, differentials, as well as steering and suspension systems. When I was young, building LEGO Technic sets was how I first learned how many of these systems worked.
What about LEGO inspires you?
The shear versatility of using it as a building medium. There is no mess, no cleanup, and no waste. When you are finished building a model, you can take it apart and reuse the pieces to build another one. The pieces are practically infinitely reusable. Pieces that were produced 50 years ago still work with pieces produced today. The entire system is incredibly well thought out and implemented. The breadth of different LEGO pieces that are available is also staggering and, really, you can build pretty much anything you can imagine using them.
Do you have kids? Do you use LEGO pieces to play and teach them about engineering, technology or science?
No, I don’t have any children of my own, but I try to explain how many of my models work in the videos I make (and by providing instructions for some of them), so that maybe the people watching can learn from them.
What inspired you to play with LEGO?
I’ve been a fan of LEGO for most of my life, ever since I was a little kid with only a handful of sets. I guess what really brought me back into it as an adult was when LEGO acquired the Star Wars license and released the first Mindstorms sets back in 1999. The combination proved impossible to resist.
Trevor Martin is the Senior Social Media Manager at K12. Trevor earned degrees in journalism and business administration at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In 2008, he worked as a reporter and producer covering the presidential election for MTV News. Since then, he has worked in the environmental nonprofit space, helping several organizations achieve success with social media.