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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

University of Arizona student competes for the title of LEGO Master

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LEGO MASTERS: Liam Norris and his mother Emily work together to build a structure in the “Ready to Launch” season three premiere episode of LEGO MASTERS airing Wednesday, Sept. 21 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Tom Griscom/FOX

The most recent season of the television series “LEGO Masters” features a University of Arizona student who is not only making strides in the world of LEGO, but in achieving the goals for his future as well. 

Liam Norris is a first-year student at the UA, and he and his mother Emily Norris are teammates on the show, making them the first “LEGO Masters” mother-son duo. 

“LEGO Masters” was created in 2020 and is a competition-based show that brings on teams of two to participate in competitive brick building. The show creates various challenges that each team must compete in and win weekly in order to be crowned LEGO Master at the end with a grand prize of $100,000. 

Norris’s journey to be on “LEGO Masters” has been years in the making as his childhood hobby became something that landed him on the popular show. 

“I first got into LEGO when I was six-years-old and I got my first LEGO Power Miners set which was an old theme that really caught my imagination, and from there I just wanted to build more and more,” Norris said.

From then on his love for LEGO sprouted into what it is now.  

“I started creating my own designs and at some point, when I was a little bit older, I started a LEGO design club in the community for other kids who are into it. My mom actually coached my FIRST LEGO League [Challenge] team for four years, so LEGO was really in all aspects of my life, and that was before I really got involved in the online community,” Norris said.

Though Norris has a passion for LEGO and building, his creative works manifest themselves in multiple areas of his life, including his studies. 

“I am a film and television major, and other than LEGO, film and television is a big creative passion of mine and I both actually kind of intersect in many ways that aren’t immediately obvious,” Norris said. “Being on ‘LEGO Masters’ was really cool for me, not just in terms of being in this incredible LEGO environment, but also from the perspective of being that I’m getting to meet all these different producers and stuff on set and learning about how it really works and getting to experience that.”

The pieces that Norris makes are eye-catching and creative, but his works go beyond what non-LEGO experts may be able to visualize.

“I really put storytelling first, so I really like thinking through what the story might be, whether it’s in a LEGO or a film, and I think that that connection to creativity in LEGO helps me in film, because LEGO is very kind of therapeutic and just enjoyable for me. It kind of helps me de-stress and just connect more to my creative side,” Norris said.

Norris said that this creativity that he uses in working with LEGO helps him to be creative in other aspects of his life. He has big aspirations for his future and hopes to use his talent as a creative outlet, but also to build a career. 

“I can kind of use that energy as I go into film, and other than working in film and television I would also love to work someday as a LEGO designer. So we’ll see if that works,” Norris said.

After graduating high school, he took a year off to be on “LEGO Masters.” He said that doing school and being on the show at the same time would have been too much because the show was a huge time commitment with sometimes 13 hour long days. Though Liam Norris is not from Arizona, he looks forward to finding a community in Tucson. 

“I grew up in Virginia most of my life, and I was at first looking at schools in Virginia. And the options near where I was were great schools, but they did not have much in the way of arts and the more creative side of things,” Liam Norris said. “Those didn’t quite feel right to me, so coming to UA was awesome because there is a lot going on in terms of creative opportunity.”

Norris also hopes to bring his passion for LEGO to the UA.

“I have actually met some other students who like to do LEGO, or used to do LEGO, so I think that could be a really awesome opportunity. Honestly, I’m new here so it’s a little bit much for me to think about right now like starting a club or something, but I think that at some point down the line that’ll be really fun,” Liam Norris said. 

Though many people may just view LEGO as a toy from their childhood and a fun pastime, to Liam Norris, LEGO goes beyond its use. 

“I love thinking about LEGO as a toy in the sense that I really like creating builds that can be enjoyed by others. I would love to someday work for LEGO, designing sets that kids can play with and enjoy on, just like I loved playing with it as a kid, and still do. So not just kids but kids and adults on,” Norris said.  “So that would be a real dream of mine, to work designing sets and not just sets, but I also like interactive experiences. So for example combining physical LEGO play with digital LEGO play, or other cutting-edge opportunities like that I think would be really awesome.”

“LEGO Masters” is available for streaming on FOX and airs Wednesdays at 9/8 Central.  


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