LOS ANGELES—LEGO bricks and live flowers might seem like an expected pair—until renowned floral designer Jeff Leatham gets involved.
That’s what happened during LEGO’s recent Center for Creative Flow experience, which took place Oct. 14-15 at Hudson Loft in downtown Los Angeles. The two-day event series aimed to champion the calming, meditative effects that LEGO sets can have on adults, explained Michael McNally, senior director of brand relations at The LEGO Group.
“During the pandemic, we saw a surge among adults exploring how LEGO building could be an escape from their plugged-in, always-on ways of working from home,” he noted. “As we have emerged from that reality, the behavior seems to be sticking—so it’s the perfect time to drive more awareness and trial for the benefits of LEGO play for adults.”
He continued, “Center for Creative Flow is our platform to elevate and celebrate building for adults through beautifully curated and highly relevant experiences that drive cultural conversation.”
Working with Team Epiphany, the concept was brought to life by pairing exclusive LEGO build moments with traditional event elements and over-the-top live florals from Leatham, who also served as the host for the first day's VIP event. “Jeff has loved LEGO building since he was a child, and with the event focused on the LEGO Botanicals Collection, he was an obvious choice as both host and floral designer,” said McNally.
Leatham and the team decked out the space with a combination of live and LEGO Botanical flowers—a balance that McNally said took a “willingness to experiment, a really careful eye, and a degree of restraint.”
“You can go too far in either direction, but we feel as if we were able to weave the LEGO florals together with real flowers in a way that was elegant, unexpected, and in many ways, indecipherable,” he said. “That was our strategy—rather than flood the space with LEGO flowers, we carefully considered how to create those Easter egg moments for guests to spot and be wowed by.”
During the VIP event on Oct. 14, Leatham also teamed up with LEGO Masters host and LEGO designer Jamie Berard to lead four flower-building workshops using the colorful blocks. “Guests were able to select their flower petal colors based on the feeling they wanted to manifest while building,” explained McNally, noting that red represented passion, blue was peace, green was balance, black was confidence, yellow was joy, magenta was playfulness, and orange was creativity.
“The bricks were separated by color and displayed along with their word meanings. We also had an aura photographer on site capturing guests’ aura photos and providing readings based on their colors, which helped guide guests on making their color selections,” he continued. “In this way, we enabled everyone to connect in a very personal way to their build. Although everyone was building the same thing, it felt very custom and unique based on guests having a choice.”
McNally and his team thought carefully about how to make the event as engaging as possible for attendees—particularly for those who may be unfamiliar with building LEGOs.
“Anytime you’re designing and producing something new, you wonder if you’ve got the right idea and the right mechanics in place to activate the ambition,” he said, adding “With an activity that may not be as familiar to guests, we were really focused on how to create aseamless building workshop that was inspiring, easy, and fun.”
To do so, the team batched LEGO elements in pouches to create the stem and leaves for the custom flowers, and then left it up to each guest to choose their petal colors and pull the quantity of each piece required. “We provided step-by-step printed instructions and also digital instructions via QR code to accommodate different preferences,” he noted. “We were thrilled to see that guests were doing what we wanted, willingly, and in a very engaged way.”
Guests were permitted to bring their builds home with them, and encouraged to post on social media to show how they integrated them into their personal spaces. “Not only is the experience of creating each piece memorable for them, it lives on as a beautiful piece of decor in their own homes. The builds are a point of pride and inspiration, and also a great conversation starter,” McNally said.
The VIP event on Oct. 14 drew a mix of media and influential guests from various industries such as entertainment and art. On Oct. 15, meanwhile, the space was open to consumers. The adults-only gathering was free with an RSVP on a Center for Creative Flow microsite, which was promoted on social media.
Overall, McNally found the gatherings to be a great success. “Our LEGO clients have seen the brand expressed in many ways, so it was particularly awesome to see their reactions to the visuals and experiences we created,” he said.
Check out the list of vendors involved, and keep scrolling for more from the color-filled gathering.
Strategy, Production, Design, Staffing, Communications: Team Epiphany
Floral Design: Jeff Leatham
Audiovisual Production: On Stage Rentals, Inc.
Catering: The Copper Key
LEGO Builds: LEGO Model Shop and Brent Benedetti
DJs: Ms. Nix, Rosegold, and Andre Power
Venue: Hudson Loft