Modern lenses are very complicated, because they work to cancel out all sorts of subtle and troublesome distortions, but a lens can be very simple indeed. A Lensbaby is just a single lens element attached to some stiff bellows.
And that's it.
You could hand it to Robert Hooke and he would nod in comprehension. He might find the plastics more interesting, but the point is, you could have built a Lensbaby at any point in the last three hundred years.
You can get even simpler than that, as my link notes. Poke a hole in a body cap with a hot needle, and you've made a pinhole "lens", which is thousand year old technology.
1: http://www.dansdata.com/lensbaby.htm for an excellent review. He's actually reviewing a Lensbaby 2, which uses a doublet instead of a single uncoated lens, to reduce chromatic aberration and flare, which is quite missing the point, I feel.
This person stumbled upon a 100+ year-old cinema lens and thought to adapt it to a modern DSLR, take some excellent pictures with a wonderful vintage feel, and post them online for all of us to share. I would most certainly call that unusual.
Let's give credit where credit is due. This is a wonderful and novel piece of work and I'm definitely grateful that s/he chose to share it with us.