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When Building With LEGOs Becomes A Career

The appeal of building with LEGOs never gets old. Many people would much prefer to build and play with the colorful stackable bricks than have to go into work every day.

However, David Howard has the best of both worlds. He is one of eleven lucky people in the country to go to work each day as a LEGO Master Builder. "I've been a huge fan of LEGO my entire life," Howard says. "I've had sets ranging from the city sets to Star Wars, and I've just kind of transferred that passion into a full-time career."

Though the LEGO brick was introduced in 1949, Howard believes that the hands-on toys will never get old because of the versatility and creativity they offer.

"It's something that you can physically make, and make easy," he says. "It's a really easy toy to just pick up and just build something and use your imagination and just create whatever you want. And I think that's what has always been charming about it to me."

Stationed at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center, just to the south in Schaumburg, Illinois, Howard's job is to build LEGO models, interact with fellow LEGO enthusiasts and maintain the displays at the center.

Howard designs all of the large models himself, using research and tapping into building patterns he has memorized over his years of building. 

While Howard is not directly involved with creating LEGO kits you see in toy stores, he is always building new models of his own design. In fact, in order to become a LEGO Master Builder, Howard participated in a "build-off" with three hour-long rounds of making themed LEGO creations from scratch.

For all aspiring Lego builders, Howard offers one key piece of advice: "It's really hard to separate your pieces, but when you do you become a lot more efficient. An organized builder is an efficient builder."

David Howard became a Lego Master Builder in January of 2014 for the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Schaumberg, Illinois. LEGOLAND’s newest display, Pirate Adventure Island, features activities, sets and building spaces for kids – and adults, who will have their own special building night in September. 

Audrey is a producer, host and reporter for Lake Effect. She is involved with every aspect of the show — from conducting interviews, editing audio, posting web stories and mixing the show together.