Whether used to generate or test ideas or as a tool to communicate with clients and the wider public, architects have been using models for centuries. An integral part of the design process, cutting, pinning, shifting, adding or subtracting small pieces of card or blocks of foam creates room for inspiration; understanding scale, density, form and physicality. Quickly mocked up by hand with minimal and inexpensive tools this process allows for ‘happy mistakes’ or unexpected results, pushing the design direction.

At the same time, the showpiece model serves as a piece of art. Sometimes a perfect, to scale replica of the final scheme, or at others, an abstract object which celebrates a core element of the design thinking. These models are built to stand the test of time, much like the real building, and are sculpted and formed using a variety of materials – glass, copper, wood, cork, ceramics… Making Models explores in more detail how and why we use architectural models and the skill and craftmanship that goes into their creation.