One Urban Planner's Dream Job

Two weeks after graduating from UW-Madison with a Master's degree in urban and regional planning, Ryan Ziegelbauer is competing against 23 other finalists to be a Legoland California model builder. The coveted position is highly competitive.
May 23, 2006, 1pm PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"There are only 20 LEGOLAND model builders in all the world, distributed among the four LEGOLAND parks (located in California, Denmark, England and Germany). The competition for openings is fierce. For this one opening at the California park, more than 250 applicants competed in seven regional competitions across the U.S.

...Tuesday's winner becomes one of five LEGOLAND California model builders responsible for designing, building and maintaining more than 15,000 LEGO models at the park.

The Daily Page: Where were you and what were you doing when you decided to apply for the build-off??

Ziegelbauer: I was at home surfing for planning jobs and I thought I would see if LEGO had any interesting openings. I saw the opening for LEGOLAND Model Builder and decided I had to apply.
Are LEGOs a big thing with urban planners? What percentage of urban planners would you say have some kind of shared enthusiasm for LEGOs, or have a shared LEGO history?

There are a few planners who use LEGO bricks as tools for public participation. They have the participants build small streetscapes to simulate the density and scale of neighborhoods and future projects. I think LEGO-using planners are a rare breed, but I have heard of more than one."

From the press release:

"The seven-city search for the newest member of the prestigious Model Builder team at LEGOLAND® California is down to just 24 talented finalists. Judged on their creativity, ability to build in three dimensions and use of the various LEGO® bricks, these applicants have been selected from more than 250 applicants nationwide. Twenty-four men and women will compete for their dream job at the ultimate build-off event on Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at LEGOLAND. Only one will be selected to join the current team of five that design, build and maintain the more than 15,000 LEGO models at the family theme park in Carlsbad, California."

Full Story:
Published on Monday, May 22, 2006 in Isthmus
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