We’ve been making quite a few physical models recently and last week found ourselves explaining to a student here on work experience why we make them. Firstly, it’s not just because it’s great fun and we are avoiding doing our real work! We are often accused of “playing with bits of cardboard” but there is a serious side to this. Our job is all about communication and if we cant communicate a design to a client then we have failed. If you are not used to “reading” drawings it can be very difficult to understand the scale and characteristics of a space from two dimensional plans, sections and elevations. A physical model (rather than a virtual model) enables you to peer into a space and by using little figures, understand the human scale. We can also use desk lamps to accurately mimic sunlight entering a space at different times of day. This often proves particularly useful on our smaller projects with domestic clients. They are also great to have around the studio and always stimulate a discussion.

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