Lego For Grown-ups To Create Furniture? That'd Be Corkbrick.
Ask any mother what her top ten favorite toys for kids are and somewhere on that list will be Lego. Everyone loves Lego. The simplicity of this toy inspires hours of fun and imagination. And the effect seems to be long lasting, just ask author and entrepreneur Miguel Reynolds Brandao. He’s taken the Lego concept to a whole new level.
A “sustainability” soldier whose entire professional life has been centered upon launching companies that help save the planet in one form or another, Miguel’s newest brainstorm will have even the most inept DIY’ers designing and building their family room furniture as simply as the snapping of two Lego pieces together. I kid you not. These Lego pieces, however, aren’t made of plastic, but of cork - wholly sustainable and very appealing to those who are eager to “go-green” at every turn.
Personally, I love the entire thing. It’s brilliant and environmentally sound. Plus, there’s no fuss nor mess throughout the entire process. If that’s not enough, it’s a financial win for any family living on a budget.
I urge you to read Miguel’s interview below and dive back into an entirely new way of playing with Lego through Corkbrick.
What is your name?
Share your personal mantra?
"Enjoy today the most, ensuring tomorrow's fun won't be jeopardized."
Where do you live?
Lisbon, Portugal - Paradise!
Share a bit about your personal and professional background.
I am, essentially, a serial entrepreneur and family man -- the father of two boys and two girls as well as the youngest sibling of four. Always curious and independent, I started my first venture when I was nineteen. Since then, I’ve done business in twelve countries, across four continents, and have been awarded the JEEP91 and the European Telework Week 1998. I am also an inventor, holding two patents and software/algorithm copyrights.
Discuss the importance of 'sustainability' to the world as you see it.
Sustainability is everything! Its essential -- the minimum we must assure to our descendents.
If we compromise sustainability, the next generation won't have a world to live in or on. For the first time in human history, we have jeopardized leaving a worse legacy to our children than our parents left to us. It’s not fair! It’s not correct!
Share the name of your book as well as it's focus and why you chose to write it.
The Sustainable Organisation - a paradigm for a fairer society.
I believe that, in a transparent world, a balanced distribution of the outcome produced by organizations and stronger economic development for all of humanity can lead to a better life. Comparing organizations, in an accountable and speculation-free system, can help to uncover the value these organizations put forth. Much can be learned from this.
My hope is to enlighten people to get involved in the revolution, leading to a more sustainable model and, in turn, a fairer world. For organizations to become truly sustainable, we believe it is essential to create a new organization model: a more cooperative CEO, a new way for people to work together in the organization, and better ways for organizations to be measured by society.
I decided to write this book just for the, mere, pleasure of doing it and for the belief that I may contribute to a better world. I am already very happy with the impact it has had. The SORG algorithm is becoming a reference and now we are working on creating a world ranking of sustainable organizations.
Talk about Corkbrick, including the core product as well as the catalyst to the initial idea, date of corporate launch, current stage of operation, your vision for the future, your crowdfunding effort, cost of purchasing the product, etc.
CORKBRICK arose out of a discussion I was having with my daughter in Lisbon airport coffee shop. We were discussing solutions for open spaces, specifically searching for ideas to create dynamic guest rooms in our attic. We needed something simple, scalable, easy to mount and dismount - and most importantly without the use of tools, glues, or screws ! That was when we first thought of the potential behind a modular construction brick - the CORKBRICK concept - and designed the first sketches. When we discovered that nothing within the global marketplace fulfilled our imagination’s criteria - modular and flexible enough to build structures and furniture at home for people who are hopeless at DIY (like us) -- Corkbrick was born.
After 16 months of research and testing, we finally came up with SEVEN optimized brock designs. Seven brocks to build structures in any possible direction -- providing a solution for walls, furniture and any other creative applications at your heart's desire. We have since patented our invention internationally and developed our own molding technology and production line, optimized to efficiently distribute CORKBRICK from Portugal to Europe and ready for global expansion - USA, Japan, China, Brazil and Australia.
We plan to start producing CORKBRICK is October 2016. In the meantime we decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign to gather people around the concept.
Share examples of where and in which circumstances Corkbrick is best suited for (examples could be college dorms, familyrooms, etc).
The examples are many and the ideas we are collecting from our first “club members” are incredible -- from cradles, to soundproof rooms to sound engineers, walls, bookshelfs, office cubicles and divisions, college rooms, fairs, beds, and more.
How does Corkbrick fit into you commitment to sustainability?
It has all criteria to sustainability: natural, reusable, healthy, long lasting, beautiful, easy, accessible and… profitable!
Does or will Corkbrick give back to a social cause or cause-based organization?
We will do it and we will create an alternative application of our patent to offer an easy, cheap, sustainable alternative to build houses for needed people in Africa.
When all is said and done, how would you like to be remembered?
A good father, son, friend and husband… a humanist and a changemaker.
Suffice-it-to-say, even before production Corkbrick is receiving massive orders from around the world. Just goes to show you what the right state of mind and a stop-over in the Lisbon airport can do to a person’s life. This mixed with a high level of intellect, creativity, and caring for the planet can transform one’s old Lego memories into a new and thriving, sustainable business.
Makes you think twice when you’re sprawled out all over the floor cleaning your child’s Legos up while cursing yourself out for buying so many damn boxes of them, right?
Many thanks to Miguel Reynolds Brandão for making this interview possible