The ancient craft of architectural model making may seem unnecessary in today's age of digital renderings and virtual tours, but physical models remain a uniquely revealing and compelling tool for the architect. More forcefully than any other way of visualizing a building, models represent ideas, as opposed to images. The sensory impact of a physical model, its materiality, is an important step in the design process. Once an idea is materialized, it exists in the real world, and the real world reacts---with limitations or opportunities, which become clear through the process of making. A model not only allows the designer to explore freely while testing out specific ideas but also to advance and communicate his or her ideas effectively to others.
Our latest addition to the Architecture Briefs series presents the nuts and bolts of model making. In thirty-three "concept blocks," Megan Werner explores a wide range of possible types including laser-scored acrylic models, basswood topography models, acid etched metal blocks, peeled paper blocks, D-print models, cement pour blocks, and many more. Model Making includes handy appendices on materials, tools, and tips and techniques, as well as a glossary of design concepts.
Megan Werner is the founder of zDp Models, a San Francisco-based model-making firm. Her client list includes Microsoft, SOM, Renzo Piano, Gensler, IDEO, and Stanford University. She is an adjunct professor in the interior design department at the California College of the Arts.
"If youve already got that architecture degree and think you know everything about building architectural models, think again. This neatly organized book does an excellent job covering a wide range of materials, methods and modeling styles. The presentation is so thorough and sharp that weve had a hard time putting it back on the shelf."
A Daily Dose of Architecture:
"It's a concise and straightforward how-to reference with helpful photos and illustrations, and it benefits from the apples-to-apples presentation of the concept blocks."
BOOK NEWS, Inc. :
"Despite the ease of computer modeling, physical models are said to be enjoying a revival as an architectural tool because of their hands-on nature. Werner, the founder of a San Francisco-based model- making firm presents concept blocks for inspiration, including representations of various forms of topography. Sample model projects include the materials, tools, tips and techniques, applied technologies and alternative methods, architectural concepts, and color illustrations. Chapters provide more detailed information on each project component."