BEHIND THE SCENES. Giuseppe Pelliccione is an electrical engineer, but outside of work he has two great passions: modelling and his nephews. He has been an avid modeller, working with paints and glue for years as a way of keeping his hand in with the creative vocation he nurtured before embarking on his engineering studies: classical high school, conservatory and drawing and painting courses in the studio of his uncle Augusto Pelliccione – a famous Abruzzo painter and sculptor, recently deceased. The nephews came along later, along with his love for his wife and family, originally from Poland. It was there that Giuseppe met Julek and Miriam. He quickly became their favourite uncle, despite the difficulties caused by the language barrier. To win them over, he used toys and above all, Lego. Miriam, herself a huge Lego fan, became increasingly curious and started asking her mother what her uncle did for a living. But how could she explain to a Polish second-year primary school child with a passion for building bricks what goes on in electricity substations? Lego was the only way to do it.
To find a way forward, Giuseppe decided to do some research online. He soon discovered that Lego is no longer just a kids’ toy, but something that thousands of adults are passionate about. The company itself identifies them as AFOL ("adult fans of Lego"), and they do in fact constitute an important market sector, given their extended financial scope. The home base for all fans is Bricklink.com, a site created as a secondary market where you can buy individual parts of any kind and where you can also design your own builds on the computer, using the free Studio software. It is a blank canvas where you can create a blueprint for any object – with no limit on the number of bricks. The programme then generates the “shopping list” and instructions for the design.
Giuseppe started from there and it took him a month to obtain a perfect model, designed for play and to help explain to his grandchildren what his work at the substation involved. Finally, he bought all the parts and assembled the whole thing so that he could take some pictures; the health emergency was in full swing and his grandchildren were unable to come to Italy. The grandchildren really loved it – as did his Terna colleagues, who were able to show the pictures also to their children. The work also garnered some success on the website: his Lego transformer was selected for the “Staff Pick” award of the week in September 2020, and his model of an Austrian castle received the same award in February 2021.
Giuseppe's engineering precision is evident in the details, which are realistically reconstructed using existing Lego pieces; he sifted through old sets, selecting and combining specific components to be as true to reality as possible. This was surely proof that, along with electricity, the artist's creativity runs in his veins.