One of the coolest things about the old Lego from the ’70s and ’80s were the weird, wonderful computer bricks they shipped with. These fanciful blocks took their style from the analog computers of the era, and while they look strange and wild to modern eyes–kind of like some of the computers from 2001: A Space Odyssey–they actually weren’t that far off from, say, the conceptual designs Hartmut Esslinger was doing for Apple at the time.
Love Hultèn, a Swedish artist whose work often focuses on marrying classic furniture designs with modern computers, has taken the computer consoles from classic Lego space sets and turned them into real, functioning computers for the first time ever.
Hultèn calls his collection the Brixsystem. It consists of eight modern computers, each sized up at a scale of six to one. They all work, and while some of the functionality of the original Lego bricks was obvious (for example, a telephone), Hultén had to use his imagination to flesh out the others. For example, my favorite is the recreation of Lego piece 3004PC0, which had indeterminate functionality as a toy but becomes a working retro game console in Hultén’s vision. Tell me you don’t wish the computers in your life were this cool.
“Like most people, I was raised on Lego,” Hultèn tells me. Hultèn chose to work with some of the decorative accessory bricks from the Lego Space collection, first released from 1979 to 1987, which the artist remembered from growing up. “25 years later, and these bricks still trigger my imagination, just like when I was a kid.”
A one-off collection of artistic recreations, you can see more of Love Hultèn’s work on the Brixsystem here.