10K Club Interview: Meet Caio Gandolfi of Museu Nacional - Rio de Janeiro

10K Club interviews are back over the next 2 months as we head towards the next LEGO Ideas review results. Today we have the pleasure of introducing the Brazilian 10K Club member Caio Gandolfi (aka MaxakalisaurusTopai) of the Museu Nacional - Rio de Janeiro. Taking just 3 months to reach the 10,000 supporter milestone, it showed that there was great public support for it.

Please help us congratulate Caio for his big achievement, in the comments below.

 

About Yourself

  1. Where are you from?
    I'm from Brazil.
     
  2. How old are you?
    34.
     
  3. What do you study or do for a living?
    I work as an art director in a Brazilian advertising agency.




     
  4. What hobbies do you have?
    I’m a big fan of photography and my hobbies include other activities such as movies, videogames, running and, of course, museums.
     
  5. How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
    As long as I can remember. In the 80’s, while I was growing up here in Brazil, LEGO bricks were very popular among me and my friends. We used to play with the bricks at school.
     
  6. What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
    My favorite LEGO set is the 21005 – Fallingwater, from LEGO Architecture. I've always been a big fan of Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural style and it seems that his most iconic work was designed especially to be a LEGO set.

    And if I can pick another set, that would be the 75192 – Millennium Falcon, because you know, it’s Star Wars.
     
  7. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    The basic 3001 (2x4 Brick). It’s a very iconic and functional element.
     
  8. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    Unfortunately, I do not know many LEGO designers. But I really like the creations of Jonas Kramm.
     
  9. Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
    I found inspiration from LGU BRASIL community and also The Brick Fan.

About Your Project

  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    The Brazilian National Museum had burnt accidentally last year. It was the most important Natural Science Museum in Latin America.

    I thought this was an irreplaceable loss for Brazilians and also humanity. Besides their 20 million pieces collection, the building itself was part of the Brazilian heritage. It was a 200 year old iconic building that once was used as an official palace for Portuguese and Brazilian Royal Family (at the time Brazil was a Portuguese colony, in the XVI century), before becoming a museum.

    The classic style of the building is remarkable and should not be forgotten for future generations.




     
  2. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    My true desire was to build all the iconic pieces of the museum, such as the dinosaur skeleton Maxakalisaurus topai or Luzia’s skull (the most antique skull of an Amerindian), but it would have been a really big and complex set, so I focused on the building itself and its own beauty.
     
  3. How long did it take to complete the model? Did you finish it fairly quickly, or did it take a long time?
    It took about 15 days to build the 3D model. After the project was submitted to LEGO Ideas, I started to work on a model built in real LEGO bricks. The results made me very happy and proud.
     
  4. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
    It was amazing that many Brazilians joined and spread the project online. And people around the world that never visited the Brazilian National Museum before were also engaged. It was really quick to reach the 10,000 supporters, but the most impacting thing is that lots and lots of newspapers and maganizes had noticed the project, bringing the museum fire into light again.

    The Brazilian National Museum will be forever in people’s mind, and maybe people will be able to reconstruct it at home.
     
  5. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    About 900.

About LEGO Ideas

  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    To be successful the project idea needs to talk to as many people as possible, so try to build something that you adore but that also is interesting for other fans. You also have to make sure you are presenting your model in the best possible way and make good use of social media to spread your idea.
     
  2. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas project (besides your own of course)?
    It must be the 21312 - Women of Nasa.

    I really like this project because it shows sometimes a LEGO set can represent more than a model, it can be a tool to tell a story, to remember or to honor things that are important.
     
  3. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea? 
    What attracts me to LEGO Ideas is how democratic the platform is. It doesn’t matter if you've been a LEGO fanatic for many years or if you just bought the first set and decided to create a model. The ability to see what people are creating around the world, in addition to receiving feedback from countless LEGO fans is also fantastic.