Live Locally, Grow Globally

What's NEW

OU Student becomes 2nd Japanese and 1st female Lego® Master Model Builder

Lego® Brought Her to Osaka University

Lego® bricks have been close to Kanna since she was born. “I always played with my sister’s Lego® bricks," she told us. "I learned about professionals authorized by Lego® Company during my third year of elementary school. Watching their videos, I started making motor-driven robots and radio-controlled cars."

Lego® also made her career choice. "Hearing that Osaka University had classes on making robots with Lego® bricks, I enrolled in the School of Engineering Science. I wanted to become a teaching assistant in that class, so I joined Professor Fumio Miyazaki’s Laboratory at the Graduate School of Engineering Science and served as a teaching assistant for three years." she said.
In her second year of the master’s course, she applied for the Student Challenge Project sponsored by the Frontier Research Center at Osaka University, in which she set up a Lego® Club. She became the first president of the club.

Entering a Lego® Building Competition

Three years ago, Ms. Nakayama entered the Lego® Master Model Builder Competition in 2012 for the first time, but she got knocked out in a preliminary round. Using failure as her springboard, she challenged the competition again in February 2015.
She won the preliminary matches and reached the final round. In addition to technique and power of expression, how to win children, the spectators, to her side held the key to success in the competition.

"They came over to me to disrupt my work, but when I asked them to sort bricks and make parts for me, I succeeded in bringing them over to my side. I completed my work at the very end of time limit. I also intended to please the spectators watching the competition. In the end, I won the championship by involving children. I was so happy to be recognized by Lego®, which I have loved so much. I was sure that I would be engaged in Lego®-related work."

An OU Student and a Lego® Master Model Builder

Now, Ms. Nakayama shares the pleasure of Lego® bricks with children and teaches two instructors at the Lego®LAND Discovery Center, Osaka. Because of its location, the center is visited by many tourists from overseas, as well as children.
"One good thing about Lego® bricks is that no language is required. I may teach them in Japanese, but children take away the phrases “Atta! [There it is!] for when they find a missing brick and “Dekita! [I made it!]” when they finish their creation." she said.
As an OU graduate student, Kanna also studies rehabilitation robotics at the Graduate School of Engineering Science.

Wanting to Share the Fun of Lego® Bricks

"Just like we did in the Lego® Club, I want to hold more events, especially those for adults. This center is aimed at children, so adults cannot enter without accompanying a child. We hold an event called Adult Night once a month. I’d like to speak about the allure of Lego® on such occasions." She expressed her hope for the future, "It would be nice to have such an event not just once, but twice or even three times a month."
"The allure of Lego® bricks is that even individuals who aren't so skilled with their hands can make something. When you want a car but cannot get one right away, you can get temporary satisfaction by making it with Lego® bricks, which turns your disappointment with not being able to get a car into happiness," Ms. Nakayama told us. We look forward to her work in the future.

About Kanna NAKAYAMA
A third-year student in the doctoral program, Ms. Nakayama is with the Robotics & Mechatronics Group, Miyazaki Fumio Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Science and Bioengineering, Graduate School of Engineering Science. She has 24 years of Lego® building experience.

Lego®LAND Discovery Center, Osaka (3F, Tempozan Market Place, 1-1-10, Kaigan-dori, Minato-ku, Osaka)

The Lego®LAND Discovery Center is an indoor family attraction ideal for children aged 3 - 10 years and their families. Adults must be accompanied by a child aged 15 or younger to enter.
Opening hours: 10:00 ~ 20:00
Last entry: 18:00
This center’s closure dates depend on those of Tempozan Market Place. Opening hours are subject to change without notice. Adults without accompanying a child are not allowed to enter except for Adult Nights on the first Wednesday of the month.

What's NEW

Back to top