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10K Club Interview: The Ruined House by kirteem

Jordi (aka kirteem on LEGO Ideas) built a beautiful house, which is ruined. It's not often you say that, but Jordi has used some clever building techniques and great element usage to give this house an abandoned/crumbling look. Hear more from Jordi in their 10K Club Interview.

View the project in full here.

Enjoy this interview and be sure to congratulate Jordi in the comments below too!

About Yourself

  1. Who are you?
    Jordi (aka kirteem).
  2. Where are you from?
    Barcelona, Spain.
  3. How old are you?
    I’m 44 years old.
  4. What do you do for a living? 
    I’m industrial engineer. I work as patent engineer in an Intellectual Property Group.
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    I have many hobbies. Obviously, creating LEGO Product Ideas is one of them, and collecting Star Wars LEGO sets another. But, I also like running, reading fantasy novels and comic books, watching television series and, specially, building Harry Potter LEGO sets with my 9 years old daughter.
  6. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    No, I haven’t. But I’m considering making more visible my LEGO creations. So, I will have to work on it.
  7. Have you created any LEGO MOCs (my own creations) that you’re particularly proud of? What is it, why are you proud it and do you have a photo of it?
    Yes, I’m proud of my Carpentry, Smithy & Dojo because it is the only LEGO Product Idea that I have made with real pieces. All the others were virtually designed with LDD. It perfectly fits with the Ninjago LEGO sets 70620 and 70657, and it is very playable. My daughter and I spent a lot hours playing with all them during the first weeks of confinement due to the Covid-19. 

    I would also like to mention the Modular Old House, because the idea behind this project was already to build a house as battered, wrecked and ruined as possible. So, I think it is the seed of my Ruined House LEGO Product Idea. 
  8. How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
    It came during my childhood, at the age of 8 years or so. That is, I played with the LEGO sets of the 80s, like the Holiday Home (6374), the Airport (6392), or the Lunar Patrol Craft (6872). Then I move to the videogames and, somehow, LEGO was set aside from my life. Fortunately, it came back stronger than ever some years ago, when my daughter started playing with LEGO. I completely rediscovered this world. I was so fascinated by the high level of detail and resemblance of the Star Wars LEGO models that I automatically became a great collector of them.
  9. What is LEGO for you? What does it mean for you? How does it fit in your life? E.g. build, display, meetups, play the games.. or 'just' watch the cartoons.
    LEGO for me is like an all-in-one hobby. I mean, it allows me to play with my daughter building her favourite sets, to expand my creativity through my own models, to contribute with my support in the LEGO ideas website the launching of new products, to make an awesome collection of LEGO Star Wars sets, and much more.
  10. What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
    The Star Wars theme, of course, because I’m a big fan of the film series, specially the original trilogy. On the other hand, I think that my building style is not specifically inspired by any theme in particular.
  11. What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
    A difficult question to answer. Surely, the Millennium Falcon (75257) and the X-Wings Figthers (75102, 75218) are between my favourite ones. But there are many others, including from other themes. It would be great that you could release more sets from the Star Wars original trilogy, like the Jabba’s Sail Barge (I don’t have it!), or from the Rise of Skywalker, such as the skimmer of Kef Bir (It’s very cool, and it hasn’t become a LEGO set yet). I would like to see them in my collection ;-)
  12. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    Another difficult question too. In most cases, depending on what you are trying to build, you will probably prefer some specific pieces among many others. But in general, I would say that the flat tiles are within my favourite LEGO elements, because they normally improve the visual appearance of your design. In addition, I believe that the inverted pieces are very useful too, because they open different ways to build your models.
  13. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    I would like to congratulate all the Lego Star Wars design team because they are making an amazing job. Also, a special mention to RobenAnne because he has made a lot of great Product Ideas. His Old Fishing Store (21310) is the first project that I could support on LEGO Ideas and buy afterwards.

About Your Project

  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    My interest for the Ruined House came from the idea of creating a Product Idea that was as different as possible. That is, something rarely seen before in LEGO ideas, or at least not common. I also wanted it to have a realistic look, so that it could attract the attention of a lot of people. And finally, I wanted something that the LEGO fans could really enjoy so much when building it. I mean, the kind of LEGO sets that have a lot of details and you have to take your time to build them, thus making worth their cost. 

    On the other hand, I have read a lot of comments about the playability of my project (for and against it), and I appreciate all them. In this sense, I think that the Ruined House, once built, it may be simply keep safe inside a glass cabinet so you can observe it at any time. But I also think that it can be a perfectly playable LEGO set that could fit with a lot of themes, by simply adding the adequate minifigures, and your imagination. 
  2. How long was the process of making the project did, and what did you have to research as well. What kind of prep, research and design phases did you go through to produce your creation?
    I started the project around mid-December 2019, and I submitted the Product Idea on February 1, 2020. For the research, I spent a few days observing a lot of photos of ruined houses in Internet, while catching small ideas from all of them.

    As to the phases, I started with a handmade drawing which included the main features of the house (the walls, the gable roof, the backyard with the tree, and some details). Then I moved to LDD, making in first place some samples of the walls with the plaster coating. Once satisfied with the samples, it was time to develop all the design with LDD. 
  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    The main challenge was to create the model having both a ruined and realistic appearance. The most difficult part was the tree, to which I had to dedicate many hours of work. Luckily, I already had some experience making trees from my previous Product Idea Old House’s Garden, to which I made more than thirty trees, all of them different.    
  4. If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, whatwould you tell him/her? What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
    Let my answer this question having in mind my previous project Deserted Mansion. In that case, I said to myself not to submit again an unfinished project (I didn’t make the interior of the mansion). I know now that each small detail and effort that you put in your model would surely gain supports. For the Ruined House, I tried to integrate each good idea that came to my mind while making the model, despite of supposing more work and time.
  5. How long did it take to complete the model? Did you finish it fairly quickly, or did it take a long time? And how did the build time compare to the time you spent promoting your Product Idea to reach 10,000 supporters?
    It took approximately one month and a half to complete the model. I think I finished it quite quickly, but I spent a lot of hours working on it during this period. On the other hand, for promoting my Product Idea, I simply shared it with my family and friends using WhatsApp. So, it took far less time.
  6. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
    I felt very happy! Thank you very much to everyone who supported my project! To be honest, my initial expectations were to improve my previous best result. So, when I reached this magic number, I couldn’t believe it. At the end, it took me four years and about fifteen previous Product Ideas to reach the magic 10,000 votes.
  7. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    I’m between the double walls and the plaster coating. The double wall’s technique allowed me to highly increase the ruined appearance of the house, because, by giving depth to the masonry, a greater shattered effect was obtained. The plaster coating highly contributed to the realistic look of the house, making more credible its deterioration due to aging and severe weather conditions. I also like the gable roof because it has many details, as the clay roof tiles discolored over the time, or the great holes showing the broken wooden beams beneath. 

  8. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
    LDD and Bluerender.

About LEGO Ideas

  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    I think that you have to build what you really like, and not necessarily what other people can expect. I specially recommend original ideas, because your creativity will not be limited by a concrete design or features.

    Also, take your time to complete your Product Idea, spare no effort to add any good idea that you think might improve the result, and don’t submit it before finishing it.
  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
    I simply shared them with my family and friends using WhatsApp. So, I should work more on that aspect, in order to make more visible my Product Ideas through other social networks and websites.
  3. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
    My favourite LEGO Ideas Product Ideas are Old Fishing Store (21310) and Ghostbusters Ecto-1 (21108).
  4. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    What really attracts me of the platform is the possibility that your favourite Product Ideas may become LEGO official sets.
  5. Do you have plans to submit any other Product Ideas in the future? If yes, can you give us a hint what that might be?
    Yes, I have one in mind. But I prefer to keep it a secret ;-)
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