Models...not the SUPER kind.
Why do we build models? What are models? What do models do for a project? You may be asking yourself these questions, or perhaps hoping we were going to talk about supermodels in this post. We hate that we fooled you, but you should stick around anyway.
We build models to communicate our ideas, test new inventions, and sometimes, just to have a little bit of fun (go on, you can say it...you two dweebs!). Models can be made out of a variety of materials- chipboard, foam core, wood, plexi-glass, you name it- and they can be intricate or simple depending upon what we are trying to convey.
The first type of model we normally start with is the massing model. These models help us visualize the solids and voids of a particular project, how the project will interact with the landscape, how light will begin to play on the building(s), and so forth. From massing models we move on to more detailed models where we look at fenestration (a fancy word for openings), materials, special details, and once again, light patterns. Have you noticed how much we talk about light? We LOVE light. Light is what makes the world go round. Literally. The great Le Corbusier said, "The history of architecture is the history of the struggle for light." Wise words, my friends, wise indeed. We struggle on the daily, and we enjoy it.
If you hang around a lot of architecture offices, and if this happens to be something you are into, feel free to come hang with us, you might notice that architects are building fewer and fewer models. The reason this is a growing trend, or perhaps a dwindling trend, depending upon your angle, is that models are time consuming, and as with a great many things in this world, models are being replaced with computer programs. We can model almost anything in the computer, and we do, but there is something about taking a model out to the site, holding it in your hands, ripping it apart, showing it to a client- that tactile quality that the computer just doesn't have.
Lastly (for today anyway), models are a great teaching tool. We teach ourselves, we teach our clients, we teach the community. We learn as we go by making snap decisions, talking it out, cutting it apart, piecing it back together, getting a hot glue burn (maybe this is a bad example), and ultimately thinking outside of the screen, unplugging, and getting a little bit dirty. If you are in need of a model or two, give us a call, but we have to warn you...our Blue Steel is pretty rusty (if you don't get this, please go watch Zoolander).