Category: Lego

Why Eeva Legoed the kidnapping of Ronald McDonald

#followtheteachers blog post No.5

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Who made my favourite dress? Answer in Lego.

Click to watch

Click to watch

In 2011, we spent three weeks making things out of Lego with our summer interns.

We started off by the live tweeting of our Lego Maersk container ship and ended up re-creating scenes from different followthethings pages in Lego.

This week, we ran a Lego Lab at the Annual Conference of the Geographical Association in Guildford, in the UK. We have found Legoing to be a fantastic way to imagine and appreciate the relations what our site describes, and also to discuss the issues it contains in toy form.

We’ve also asked people about their favourite things, what they like about them, to imagine someone somewhere who made them for them, and then to write down what they would say to that person if they had the chance.

So, what happens when you combine these two approaches: ask people to think of a favourite thing, imagine who made it, and then Lego that imagination?

That’s what happened on the last day of our summer 2012 Lego Lab, when 11 year-old Ruby did this for her favorite dress. We asked for one scene, but she made the stop-frame animation – pictured above – of the whole commodity chain. It’s quick…

This is one way to imagine an answer to Fashion Revolution Day’s 2014 question: who made your clothes? And we’re publishing it today in advance of the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse. 24 April. Try it yourself!

This Valentine's Day, let's show some love to everyone in its supply chains

Buying gifts to give to loved ones presents unique dilemmas to those who are concerned about who made them, under what conditions. Can you express your love for another person by buying them conflict jewelry, or child labour chocolate? And what are the alternatives?


Teaching and learning resources

If you’re looking for resources to help creatively discuss the controversial issues in Valentine’s Day supply chains, here’s a selection.

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ftt review of 2013: part 2

At a packed followthethings.com 2013 award ceremony last night at the University of Exeter (entirely made from Lego), actor Daniel Radcliffe presented the awards.

 

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‘What (not) to wear’ event: an introduction

Whatnot conference slide

Click for the facebook event page

Date: 11 November 2013, 4-6pm

Venue: University of Exeter, Streatham Campus, Streatham Court, Lecture Room C.

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Our sponsor

A taster event for 1st year students: click for details

A taster event for 1st year University of Exeter students: click for details

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Setting the scene: journalism, activism & ‘Primark on the rack’

Primark on the rack Lego comic

Click for the flickr set with explanations

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Our audience: curious & expert students 

Screen Shot 2013-11-10 at 12.28.08 PM

Click to read more about this module

A draft followthethings.com page published last week: click to read

A draft followthethings.com page published last week: click to read

A draft followthethings.com page, published last week: click to read

A draft followthethings.com page, published last week: click to read

Cards 31-35

New student work: e.g. Ethical Trade Trumps game

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Our hashtag

Ask questions using this. They'll appear here. Click!

Tweet photos of your ‘Made in…’ labels & ask questions with this.

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Our speakers

James Christie-Miller

Click for our Grand Challenge Events page

Click for our Grand Challenge Events page

& Carry Somers

Click here for our Grand Challenge events page

Click here for our Grand Challenge events page

Quite literally ‘following the thing’

Talking about our site with students at Bath Spa University this week, I wanted to show the most literal (and chilling) example of the ‘follow the things’ genre. It’s the only example we have come across which follows something as it’s being made, shipped, and used: telling the story of a thing’s life from the perspective of the thing itself, from its ‘point of view’, like a ‘shoot-em-up’ video game. It’s the ‘Life of a bullet’, the opening scene from the 2005 movie ‘Lord of War’.

Life of a bullet

Lego re-creation

Revisiting this opening scene, we made a new Lego re-creation today using the decommissioned AK47 bullet that we bought as a necklace from an E-Bay seller in Canada. We initially bought it to take the product photo on this example’s followthethings.com page, but it’s still sitting in our office, with our Lego, so…

Lord of Ward movie trailer: the life of a bullet

followthethings.com page

Our page about the making, discussion and impacts of this opening scene is here. To see all of our Lego re-creations, check this ‘Made in Lego’ set on flickr.

Flo the Cat: shopping & sharing

How can we use images to tell the stories we want to tell – an avoid repeating the ones we don’t? (Platform 2012).

Flo the cat nunzilla

We were very happy to see that Set 11 of Lego’s Minifigures included a new Grandma figure with a cat and shopping bag. We purchased our Grandma at the Thomas Moore store in Exeter, where staff can tell you what’s in each packet just by feeling it.

flo th ecat nunzilla 2

We know that photos of Cats and Lego are among the most shared on social media. We want more people to know about our site and what it’s all about. ‘Flo the Cat’ is helping us to do this.

These are the first ‘What the cat brought home’ photos that we added to Flo’s flickr set today. They point towards our page on Anna Chen’s 2010 Radio 4 investigation China, Britain and the Nunzilla Conundrum. Let us know what you think and, maybe, buy yourself a cat and bag and take some other ‘Flo the cat’ photos for us to publish.

If you haven’t seen Nunzilla wound up and in action, watch this short video:

And here’s what this radio show did with her:

“[The Nunzilla Conundrum] takes the example of British designed, Chinese-made ironic novelty gifts … and expands it into an illuminating discussion of the cultural differences between the two nations, with Chinese production line workers hard-pressed to describe what it is they’re making while British designers are oh-so keen to deconstruct the joke” (Naughton 2010, np).

See our page for more.