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10K CLUB INTERVIEW: Mini City Diorama by John Harvey

Today we meet and celebrate John Harvey, a.k.a. well... John Harvey! Join us as we dig into how John has used his knowledge as an architect to construct the fantastic MINI CITY DIORAMA. Let us know in the comments what you think of this brilliant modular build!



  1. Who are you?
    John Harvey
  2. Where are you from?
  3. How old are you?
  4. What do you study or do for a living?
    I am an Architect, working in Zero Carbon Modular Construction
  5. What hobbies do you have?
    My LEGO hobby, of course, but I generally try to find ways of getting my creativity out via any method possible. As always the issue isn’t with starting projects, but with finishing them.  
  6. Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
    No, sorry.
  7. Have you created any LEGO MOCs (my own creations) that you’re particularly proud of? What is it, why are you proud of it and do you have a photo of it?
    LEGO London was my first 16x16 city build, but I have since completed LEGO Amsterdam (also on Ideas), and I am currently working on LEGO Tokyo. I like to think they are getting better as I go. My most ambitious project is a full modular-sized Spirited Away Bathhouse, virtually the entire build is SNOT technique. Utter nightmare. What was I saying about being unable to finish projects? 
  8. How and when did your interest in LEGO come about?
    I think my origin story is similar to most of the AFOLs on here. Played endlessly with LEGO bricks as a child; had my “dark years” away from the hobby, and then returned. 
  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 building to me fills a wonderful creative void between unlimited possibility and un-alterable constraints. The requirement to build within a rigid system (and hopefully stick with legal connections) encourages workarounds and non-linear thinking to achieve interesting results. I get a creative kick out of that. 
  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?
  11. What is your favourite official LEGO set ever? Why?
    Castle – see above.
  12. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    Minifigs will never not be cute.

  13. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    Anyone who does natural looking LEGO landscapes, those people are insane



  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    Getting on the Tube everyday for work.

  2. How long was the process of making the project, 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?
    Much longer than it needed to as I kept trying to refine and improve it.  
  3. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    I spent more hours than I would like to admit trying to create an inverted cylindrical tunnel corner for the underground station. Tubes are easy; tubes intersecting are a nightmare. I was never happy with the result in the LEGO Ideas model, so I’ve since improved it in another model.
  4. If you could talk to yourself before you started on this project, what would you tell him? What do you know now that you wish you knew then? 
    You should be at work.  
  5. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
    I just want to say thank you again to everyone. As I am not on social media, I basically did no cross-promotion on this project, and just left it on the site once I was done. The fact this “IDEA” reached 10,000 votes is a testament to all the people who kept sharing, commenting, voting and talking about the project. I would partially like to thank the people who were with me in the last week, including my family and friends, who relentlessly bullied everyone around them on social media and in real life to vote. Counting down the days and votes left was a blast, and I will always remember the encouraging comments.  

  6. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    According to 1,578 pieces.
  7. What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
    All LEGO models should have a little dog in them by law. In all seriousness though, I’m pretty proud of the switch back SNOT escalator

  8. If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
  9. If you used custom stickers or prints for your design, how did you create them or where did you get them? 
    All photoshop for now, but I would like to properly print them out and build it one day.  



  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    Depends on your definition of success. I’d say making something you are proud of and having people respond positively to it is more rewarding than a pure numbers game.   
  2. What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea? 
    I posted it on reddit a few years ago, but none really.
  3. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
    I want to give a general shout-out to all of the incredible modular builders on this platform.

  4. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    It’s a great store of creativity – you can go into some real rabbit holes following people's social media links.
  5. Do you have plans to submit any other Product Ideas in the future? If yes, can you give us a hint of what that might be?My 16x16 LEGO Tokyo, if I ever finish it!


  • product idea
  • 10k club
  • 10k club interview
  • john harvey
  • mini city diorama

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