What started as a life-long love of LEGO® bricks for Dr. R. Trent Cluny of Olympia Vision Clinic in Olympia, Wash., has turned into an opportunity to help promote the profession with an optometry office playset currently under consideration for manufacture by the LEGO brand.
Cluny first got the idea for the optometry playset when his daughter began to play with LEGO bricks earlier this year. Over the course of the year, he slowly began to form the playset piece-by-piece. "I took some pictures of our exam rooms and I tried to model everything after (them)," Cluny explained. "A lot of the elements in the exam room are standard optometry exam room items."
Cluny also made some pieces of the set himself, such as the eye chart and digital retina images. "I found an image of an eye chart, shrunk it down to measurements so it fit on a Lego tile, and printed that out," he said.
All told, Cluny said building the optometry office playset took about 20 man hours of planning, building and rebuilding to make little tweaks so it was all correct.
Brick by Brick
While in the midst of putting the LEGO optometry set together, Cluny decided to not only make a set for his daughter as a Christmas present this year, but also build a second to give in his office's white elephant gift exchange.
Cluny said everyone at the vision clinic was so blown away by the LEGO set, they urged him to submit it to LEGO to consider producing. On December 18th, he submitted it to the LEGO Ideas website. If Cluny can get 10,000 supporters for his optometry set, LEGO will consider his idea to become a new LEGO product.
To date, Cluny has 819 supporters and 421 days left to hit his goal.
Cluny believes his optometry set can be a great way to introduce kids to different professions, and can also be used as an educational tool. "We have a pediatric specialist in our practice and they do different techniques with children who have special needs in order to introduce them to what’s going to happen at an eye exam," he explained. "I could see this being a tool for parents of kids with special needs, or even just kids who are in general scared of going to a doctor’s office of an example of what’s there."
And for Cluny, it's a chance to mix his pride in optometry with an opportunity to connect with his daughter. "I’ve loved LEGO since I was a kid — it’s been nice to have my daughter get into LEGO now so we can now bond over that," he said. "It’s been a good bonding experience for me, but this is just taking it to a different level where it’s including the profession as well."
Click here to vote for Cluny’s LEGO Optometry Office set.