Models: Architecture and the Miniature
Today, the physical scale model is a centrepiece for design education, celebrated practices and architecture’s public relations. The development of digital fabrication devices has made model manufacture even more pervasive. The physical model is the most accessible form of architectural communication. Clients and the general public seem to immediately respond to and understand the model, over blueprints and computer simulations.
Many architects use finished models for presentations, competitions and exhibitions. Others also embrace sketch models as quick, economic and flexible generative tools. It is only with the rise of the virtual that the advantages and disadvantages of more traditional models can be fully evaluated. As attested by this book, we are now at an important watershed for the model in architecture. Practitioners and educators alike are seeking to fully understand the multiplicity of model types and how they might be strategically deployed at appropriate stages in the design process.
The historic role that the model has played is outlined with attention paid to Alberti, John Soane, the Bauhaus and education reforms. A cultural history is offered by examining models in the guise of toys, food, cinema, product design, souvenirs, narrative and art. Model theories are considered and tied to specific examples in the field. New technologies and creative combinations of traditional model-making techniques are evaluated. Kinetic, multi-media, nightscape and interdisciplinary models reveal the broad scope and exceptional versatility offered by this important tool. Models: Architecture and the Miniature focuses on current model use and experimentation by architects across the globe including David Chipperfield, Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Coop Himmelb(l)au, Daniel Libeskind, Greg Lynn and UN Studio.
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