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.