Published Jul 30, 2020
A model is a three-dimensional artifact that visualizes architectural projects. Typical models are considered a visualization of an object (building, landscape, a piece of furniture, etc) which is not yet materialized. Models enable designers to convey a range of information about a project. Graves (1981) argues that once we have modeled or represented an idea the object begins to have a life of its own somewhat separate from or beyond the original conception.
Models can be objects which try to present a visualization of a final outcome, ie a scaled miniature of a building. There are also concept models that try to express the intentions of the architect in an abstract way. Rough sketch models are quickly constructed artifacts functioning as three-dimensional sketches enforcing the process of architectural design.
Models are -like any other architectural medium- a rich means of expression. They are a medium and as such they affect our way of thinking. Materials used for the construction of models as artifacts are contributing to the cognitive process with their texture, color, softness, thickness, transparency. Working models or rough sketch models are mechanisms for simulating ideas as the material is formed (Moon,2005). They operate as three-dimensional diagrams allowing for multiple outcomes.
Graves M. (1981) “The Wagenman house and the Crooks House” in Frampton, K. and Kolbowski, S. (eds.) Ideas as Model. N.York: Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies/Rizzoli
Moon K. (2005) Modeling Messages. The architect and the Model. N. York: The Monacelli Press