It’s very amazing sometimes how inspiration for the most unexpected things can strike the most unexpected person at the most unexpected time. Such was the situation for Amado Canlas Pinlac, a Filipino engineer based in New Jersey, when a few years ago he was tidying up his home and found some stray LEGO bricks belonging to his high school-age sons.
On a whim, “AC” Pinlac began assembling those LEGO pieces, aided by his engineering background and spurred by his Star Wars fandom. That led him to design some alien-inspired LEGO-built flowers, and his work was commended in several past events.
From NJ, Pinlac found himself in no less than Billund, Denmark last year, where he became the only Filipino out of 34 exhibitors to get his brick-built flowers displayed at the LEGO House itself. Much attention was paid to his LEGO plants’ extraterrestrial styling, though Pinlac says they were rooted in real exotic flora like the famous insect-trapping pitcher plants.
And then, just this past July during the Bricks by the Bay LEGO event in the Santa Clara Convention Center, Amado Pinlac showcased five of his brick flowers, where they received an award citation for “innovative use of LEGO parts”.
Pinlac’s flowers were described as “very artistic” by Bricks by the Bay president Eric Wilson, who might have something in common with the “accidental” designer by the serious nature of their non-LEGO profession (he’s a biochemist). As for Pinlac, he hasn’t forgotten his land of birth and has donated more plants to the Philippines, where they are on roving tour moving between LEGO Stores in the Metro Manila capital area.