University of Brighton Alumni Association

George holding space shuttle lego

Brighton design graduate creates space age building set for LEGO

Product Design alumni George Gilliatt has designed a high-profile Space Shuttle LEGO model to mark the 40th anniversary of the pioneering space programme.

George holding space shuttle lego

George, who graduated with BSc (Hons) Product Design in 2019, is now based in Denmark at the  HQ of the legendary model-building company in Billund. He designed the Space Shuttle Adventure kit, however, while at home during pandemic lockdown.

George said: “It’s amazing to think that a product sold all across the world was designed on my coffee table! As with all LEGO Creator 3in1 models, the product contains two additional sets of building instructions that allow the user to take the same bricks and build two alternative models. In this case, I was super proud that I managed to carefully plan the pieces used to construct the shuttle so they could be used to also build an iconic space rocket as well as a lunar lander.”

Speaking about his degree studies, George said: “Studying Product Design at the University of Brighton taught me to always to keep the end user in mind, and I continued to channel this while developing the Space Shuttle at the LEGO Group, ensuring the model could be built by an 8-year-old child with both ease and challenges to give a sense of accomplishment – as well as ensuring  every detail was accurate, as I knew many children buying it will be serious space fans!

Space shuttle lego box

Dr Eddy Elton, Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture and Design, said: “On the Product Design course we very much work with our students to undertake project work that will enable them to land their dream job. In George’s case, we focused his Final Year project on fostering creativity and imagination in older children, which provided him with the design skills and knowledge needed to work at LEGO.”

George’s Space Shuttle Adventure kit is the third product he has designed for LEGO since graduating, following a pair of contrasting models: Cyber Drone and Safari Wildlife Tree House.

Both of these also went on global sale earlier this year – including Brighton LEGO Store.

George was also chosen to open the LEGO Group’s first ever LEGO CON on June 26, talking about the company’s ongoing collaborations with NASA. He was joined by astronaut Mike Massimino, who spoke about NASA’s new Artemis program to take humans back to the Moon and beyond.

You can see George’s appearance at the live event on the LEGO website.


Aurora Thompson • July 16, 2021

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