Just Imagine with Nico Vas 💭

Just imagine having a career that involves as much fun as possible. Wouldn’t that be great? Fortunately for Nicolaas Johan Bernardo Vas he doesn’t have to. Nico has been with us for nine years. As a toy designer, fun with a capital F has always been a driving force behind his work. Now he’s bringing that wealth of experience to his new role as an Experience Design Manager Specialist.

“Fun is compulsory in my job. As a designer, I’ve had the privilege to create some really fantastic models and, essentially, play every day. In fact, if I didn’t have fun, the quality of the toys would suffer - and that can never be allowed. So really, I have no choice in the matter. I’ve touched on everything from NINJAGO®, Monkie Kid and LEGO® Movies to IP themes , Classic and Art.


“I’m proudest of the stuff I did for Queen Watevra Build Whatever Box and Bonsai Tree Models. There are aspects of these models that are designed to encourage free-building for different audiences so people really get to use their imagination and explore their creativity. It's great that people enjoy building the models we design, but it's the most rewarding when people take the models apart and build them into even cooler ideas!

This goes to show the vast possibilities of the LEGO System in Play. There was a point where I personally felt we weren’t focusing enough on this. But I shared this with the leadership team and that led to some great discussions and new initiatives. This has helped shape my current role. It pays to speak up and our Leadership culture the Leadership Playground gives us the chance to be heard at the highest level.


“Of course, I don’t just spend all my time having fun. I get heaps of variety too. Which basically means more opportunities to have fun. Every day is different and I'm constantly being inspired by the amazing people that I have the privilege of collaborating with! Right now I'm working on so many exciting new ideas with LEGO Classic + Building Experience teams, and applying new technologies to gain a deeper understanding of creative freebuilding, with the help of experts from around the world.

“Working alongside so many different departments has played a crucial role in my development. Model design, building instructions, element design, production, finance, fantastic partners such as LEGOLAND® and our online shopping channels. All of them have given me a fresh insight and made me a more well-rounded colleague.


“Now I’m ready to take all of this with me into my new role. It’s only existed for a couple of months, so I’m still exploring what it really means. But its main focus is on creativity and how our products and the LEGO ecosystem can inspire and enable it. What kind of bricks need to be in the brickbin, and how do we unlock the imaginations of kids and parents?

“I’m hugely excited by the possibilities. What’s more, it enables me to engage with our purpose in a whole new way. I can’t think of a better way to inspire the builders of tomorrow than by empowering them to make the most of their imaginations. My personal belief is that everyone deserves the chance to experience pride of creation. The journey of figuring out how to translate an original idea into bricks – it’s such a valuable, fun and satisfying experience.


“I’m excited about the opportunity to step back and think deeply about what it means to be creative, and how we can best embed that philosophy into the system that we are making. In the morning I might be observing a building test with 4 year olds, and then in the afternoon I'll be studying the combinatorics and graph networks of how brick volume can connect together!

“Over the past few years, the LEGO System has evolved enormously. It’s enabled us to produce incredible models that could be described as art. The possibilities are greater than ever before. But as the standards of LEGO building have become so high, it can be intimidating for new builders to know where to begin. So that’s another thing I must keep in mind.

“I just feel very lucky that I get to immerse myself in what it means to be creative, and how we can best embed that philosophy into the system that we’re making. There are so many different aspects that we need to consider and balance, but at the end of the day we always remember that we’re trying to do our best to inspire the next generation. Fun with a meaningful legacy - that’s not a bad day’s work, is it?

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Just imagine shaping the future of creativity.
Now make it real.

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