Wednesday, December 17, 2014

My Digitally Fabricated World

By Don Olsen
Issue 7- So you decided to build a model...

Like my previous posts I will stick to topics related to digital fabrication. Models in architecture school are an essential element to explaining the ideas that 2D images just can't explain fully. The idea of shadows, context to the site, and artistic expression are all things that models simply do better than digital representations. I guess that's an opinion more than anything and a particular group mate of mine will insist that his digital walkthroughs with catchy music and fountains certainly get the job done. They certainly get the point across. Architectural models can be a variety of things from very basic to lifelike. I've seen plenty of students design models to be laser cut in my three years working at the architecture programs DFL. Models that have crossed a spectrum of well planned to poorly thought out to making it up as you go. There are a few things that people should all remember when setting up model files. First, plan your attack! Models are nothing without  a preconceived direction. Make a plan, map out your cuts and materials. Second, consider your materials. The best models are the ones that look like everything fits like a glove, so plan and account for your material thickness. This is a common reason for things not fitting exactly, because they won't if you consider your materials. Next, Scale correctly. People forget that at a smaller scale everything gets exponentially harder to build. Consider your scale, detail is easily gained or lost with scale. Sometimes a larger model is the only way to produce detail on the building, however small models have the benefit of providing a greater context. Finally, add what detail you can. This can be accomplished by populating your models with cars and people to make the model feel more alive. Again scale will play a factor in deciding whether something can be added or not but do what you can. Another way of adding life is to add landscaping. Landscaping is something that many architecture students over look however good planning will provide a more whole looking model. So next time we will talk more about models and how models worked for our studio project. Till next time keep fabricating.  

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