Assistant professor Ben Laugelli in the Department of Engineering and Society recently contributed to “Thoughts From the Lawn,” a blog featuring posts by UVA faculty related to their work.

Laugelli teaches courses that examine social and ethical aspects of engineering design and practice. One of his favorites, a January Term class called The LEGO Course: Engineering Design and Values, delves into the “history, brand identity, and design philosophy of the LEGO Group to teach students about the role social and ethical perspectives play in engineering design,” according to the post.

“Although at first glance, the LEGO Group’s products and practices may not seem to have much to do with engineering design, in fact, the company’s operations touch on every major offered by UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science,” Laugelli wrote.

The blog offers a compelling look at how the course pairs topical discussions on ethics and values with a hands-on studio class that allows students to gain experience in aspects of design by developing their own LEGO concept models. As a medium for teaching future engineers about the social implications of their work, a key to using the LEGO Group as a case study is how the company’s core values affect its design and management decisions.

Read Laugelli’s complete blog here.