LEGO flowers for the Inauguration

WPI's LEGO Club created orchids for the Inauguration.

LEGO Club Designs Floral Arrangements for Presidential Inauguration

Fake flowers and real skill: Club designs and creates orchids for the ceremony
LISTEN 03:09
March 20, 2024

In a room tucked away in the WPI Innovation Studio, the clinking of tiny, brightly colored plastic pieces could be heard as students followed digital models to create intricate shapes. These students share a common goal: to create a botanical masterpiece out of LEGO to welcome WPI’s new president at her inauguration.

With an arsenal of 2,495 pieces, the LEGO Club embellished the face of the university podium with red and white LEGO orchids. This technical yet creative project will be featured during the inauguration of Grace J. Wang, PhD, as the 17th president of WPI.

“It’s going to be front and center during the inauguration, which is very cool,” says computer science and math double major Andrew Salls ‘24, club president. “We designed this project from scratch using both traditional and less common [LEGO] parts.”


A computerized rendering shows orchids built of pink, white, and brown LEGOs against green LEGO leaves.

Although orchid sets do exist in the LEGO botanical collection, Salls says the club intentionally repurposed pieces typically found in other sets to create their unique design. Examples of this creative reimagining include using green curved car hoods for the leaves and using ball and axel joints to hold pieces in place.

To render the design and delegate the sections of the project among the club members, the club used the BrickLink Studio program. This program not only helped with sharing the design, it also created the instructions needed for the meticulous positioning of all the pieces. In all, the club spent about 15 hours designing and 20 hours building the project.

The club has created other large LEGO projects for the school, including a model of the entire WPI campus--a notable example of the club’s creative ingenuity--which is on display in the Bartlett center.

Club members, such as mechanical engineering major Megan Jordan ‘25, say the club has always challenged them to think creatively. During the free build sessions, club members usually receive creative prompts that encourage them to think outside of the box.

“It’s cool to look at all the pieces you have, and to think about what new purpose those pieces can be used for,” says Jordan. “Sometimes I end up building something unique that I did not expect to build.”