Welcome back to 2019/20 at B.15!

Welcome back to a new academic year at B.15 new starters and returning students.

We’ve made a few changes over the summer to our user rules which we will be rolling out to all newly inducted students this year. For those of you returning you’ll get used to the changes as you get on with your projects over the coming months.

Upcoming Induction Closure Dates

BA Inductions – Tuesday 17th & Wednesday 18th September

MArch Inductions – Tuesday 24th & Wednesday 25th September

**** UPDATES****

****The workshop will be closed on Wednesday October 2nd.

**** MArch Catch-Up induction will take place on the morning of 7th October.

**** BA Q & A session will take place on the morning of 9th October.

**** BA Catch-Up Inductions will take place on the morning of 10th October.

**** MA Architecture and Urbanism Inductions will take place on the morning of 25th October

For the initial days a rep from 4D Modelshop will be set up in our ARCHITYPES exhibition (1st floor HBS building) to present their latest products and answer any questions you may have. There will also be a period of free delivery to B.15 if you wish to buy and tools or materials from them.

Induction catch-up dates will be posted when confirmed but please attend your allotted session to avoid as much disruption to the general workshop access over the next few weeks.

Whats new?

As many of you know we are usually running around trying to manage work space within the workshop at peak times. The rules for 20 students at once remains the same as before. We believe that the best way we can improve this experience for all users is for each of you to carefully consider how you are using modelmaking in your design work. Please take to time to read through our General Users Guide (updated for this year) to familiarise yourself with the general rules and regulations here to get the most out of your time.

With the new MMU School of Digital Arts under construction the most direct route between Chatham and us in Humanities is currently blocked. For those unfamiliar with the main MSA locations refer to this map to see the main alternative route

Standard Operating Procedures

Around the workshop you’ll now find Standard Operating Procedures for all machines which give an over view to what you should and shouldn’t do when using them. These guides are as a reminder only and do not substitute an individual induction which is mandatory for all students coming to work at the workshop. As always, please ask us before starting or if you are unsure about anything in the workshop. The SOP’s follow a standard format and look like this:

New Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) gauges 

When using any of the sanders or band saws you must now make sure you open the LEV dampers and that the dust extraction is within the approved range on the localised air flow gauge. Each gauge shows a green range which is the approved air flow range to ensure as much of the dust produced during machine use is carried away from you, the user, as possible. We’ll show you how these work in person but be aware that if you want to use these machines you will be expected to check this is functioning within range before commencing your job.

B.15 Going Green

 

As you may have read with increasingly regularity, there is a pressing need for all of us to change our consuming habits to ensure the best state of our future environment. Our existence as a modelmaking workshop makes this particularly challenging to combat due to the number of different materials and choices we make when using different products. We will be making a conscious effort to police misuse of materials and ensure as much of our waste is recycled as possible.

We have introduced a new supplier for our acrylic stocks which allow us to stock ‘GreenCast’ 100% recycled acrylic. As we run down our older stocks we will move towards only stocking this product from now onward. In addition to this we now have a recycling bin for acrylic scraps that are of no further use. This will be periodically sent off for recycling.

 

Many of you have become accustomed to using spirit wood dyes in the workshop which offer a range of colours that have proved very popular over the last few years. These dyes, being spirit based, aren’t particularly environmentally friendly so going forward we will be moving to stock palette water based dyes instead which offer the same range of colours without the environmental risks.

B.15:50

2020 marks 50 years since the workshop came into being and to mark this landmark anniversary we will be holding a number of events throughout the year which we hope to reveal in the near future.

We hope you’ll get involved to celebrate with us throughout the year!

See you soon,

Jim, Scott & Saul

SimpsonHaugh B.15 Modelmaking Awards Winners 2019

This years SimpsonHaugh B.15 modelmaking awards were judged from a shortlist of 16 students on the afternoon of Friday 7th June.

The Judges: Nick Fleming, Phillipa Seagrave and Kaia Williams from SimpsonHaugh, MSA representatives Dr. Stephen Walker, Associate Lecturer Claudio Molina Camacho and B.15 Staff, Jim Backhouse, Scott Miller and Saul Parker-Backhouse.

After almost 2 hours of inspecting each of the projects and debating the resulting marks the winners were decided and are as follows:

BA (Hons) Architecture

1st Prize Harry Tate

2nd Prize Max King

3rd Prize Cameron Frame

MArch

1st Prize Nicholas Royce

2nd Prize Andrew Chung

3rd Prize Sandhya Parekh

Thanks to all of our Judges for the continued support! Congratulations to all who submitted work for the process which was a tough due to the high standards of modelmaking taking place across the board.

We wish you all the best in your future careers, keep making and keep in touch!

Good Luck!

Scott, Jim and Saul

SimpsonHaugh B.15 Modelmaking Workshop 2019 – Shortlist

This year we have received a record 65 applications for the SimpsonHaugh B.15 Modelmaking Awards across the BA3 and MArch cohorts of MSA. The quality of these applications has been of a high standard making the collective task extremely difficult to whittle down the number to a shortlist of 8 for BA3 and 8 for MArch.

We want to congratulate everybody who submitted this year making this a difficult process for all involved. The quality of the work overall has been fantastic and helps make this years show a great success.

In no particular order the shortlsited candidates are:

BA 

Callum Richardson

Cameron Frame

Emily Edwards

Faizal Akalwaya

Hayley Sheldon

Harry Tate

Max King

Ana Mayte Alvarado

 MArch

Courtnay Ives & Yiting Zhou

Sean Martin

Maciej Augustynowicz

Nicholas Royce

Sandhya Parekh

Charlotte Hagerty

Lobna Elagouz

Andrew Chung

View the submissions that made the shortlist here:

BA Shortlist 2019

MArch Shortlist 2019

Final judging will take place tomorrow and the winners will be announced at 18.00 approx during the private view.

Best of luck to all and thank you all for getting involved and making this awards scheme such a great success,

Scott, Jim & Saul @B15workshop

‘Bearing Rome Across The Alps’ – A Brief History of Cork Modelling and its Contemporary Potential

Fig 1. Modern Cork Model of the Temple of Castor and Pollux ©Dieter Cöllen

There is very little published about the nearly lost art of cork modelling aside from a few fairly recent articles and research papers. Before being attributed to architectural forms in the 18th Century, carving with cork was a tradition associated with nativity scenes in southern Italy (Gillespie, 2017). The idea of modelling this way most likely came from a combination of convenience; cork being a common, lightweight and versatile material for quick fabrication, as much as any creative individuals desire to replicate and simply enjoy the tactile craft of making with it.

The refinement of this unusual but captivating form of modelling occurred during a great period of artistic and cultural exploration in Europe. During what could be described as the original ‘gap year’, eighteenth century grand touring took young people across the continent via the most notable and artistically rich cities. This was something of an exclusive privilege that required a significant wealth and strong will of curiosity for the unfamiliar. Everyday living requirements meant a need to be flexible in tastes both for practical and dietary comforts. On every level of perception the experience was sure to be eye opening for anyone willing to embark on such a journey.

Experiencing a new destination for the first time as a modern traveller, you would think it common place to see an abundance of stalls and shops stacked with keepsakes, often mass produced junk that are rife in tourist spots. At the time of the grand tours, this shameless ‘cashing-in’ trade was fledgling if non existent. Despite this, amongst the increasing number of visitors, there was a great desire to somehow record experiences of travelling which led to traditional and art’s and craft based methods or recording being adopted. Visitors fascinated by the large scale architecture and ruins of ancient Rome took time to draw, paint and carve what they saw in order to take some momentos home. This collective practice brought back a new vision, a blueprint of how the classical world could inform a modern British design.

As well as the grand tourists giving these crafts a go themselves there were some forward thinking artisan-entrepreneurs who began producing models to sell. According to Dieter Cöllen the originator of this method of making is commonly thought to have been Roman architect Agusto Rosa. Following his death came Antonio Chichi who produced probably the most famous cork models for sale to tourists in Italy (Cöllen, 2014). These miniature 3D sketches, copies of the classics in that moment, would then find their way back over the Alps towards Western Europe and beyond with many ending up in private collections to this day.

Cöllen, an artist and craftsman, has become the current go-to maker on the subject of cork modelling or ‘Phelloplastike’ – a work derived from the Greek word for cork. His works have gained attention around the world for their outstanding levels of accuracy and due to the specialist nature of the medium it is widely thought that his skills and experience are unparalleled in the field. Whilst these works are undoubtedly stunning pieces many have had the advantage of modern crafts tools which puts the skill behind the original 18th Century examples into perspective.

Fig 5. Richard Du Bourg Colosseum Model 1775 © Museums Victoria

Given the age of limited numbers of the surviving examples, careful conservation is essential to their preservation after many years in storage and a fluctuating relevance in society as they fell in and out of fashion. Conservator Sarah Babister states that cork models ‘were really popular at a certain time and were kept as tools to teach students. Then they fell out of fashion and a lot of them were disposed of.’ (Kate C. 2014). 

This helps to explain why there are so few examples surviving on public display. There has however been a recent recognition of the value of cork models which has led to a more conscious conservation of these pieces with the excellent reinstatement of the Soane model room and a fantastic Colosseum at Australia’s Museum Victoria.

This original 18th century model (Fig.5) was produced by British modelmaker Richard Du Bourg and thankfully spared the ‘no longer in vogue’ fate of so many of his other works. Richard Gillespie at Museum Victoria has written on the subject that stemmed from his intrigue of the Colosseum model that had sat unused in the museum stores for some 20 years. Having researched and discovered several other examples of Cork Colosseum models in European collections Gillespie concludes that separately these models had varied purposes. This is reflective of the wider, multifaceted use of modelmaking in architecture in contemporary practice.

“The [various] Colosseum models […] differed in purpose, combining to different degrees antiquarian interest, archaeological research and documentation, evocation of classical architecture and history, courtly collections, public exhibition and education, commercial opportunity – and artistic endeavour, for the carving of cork into extraordinary classical structures and architecture had a technical and aesthetic appeal for the modellers and their audiences” (Gillespie, 2016)

Using Cork Modelling Today

In current practice cork is still used on occasion by modelmakers but rarely as the sole building material as it was in the golden age of the grand tourist. Makers wanting to try their hand today can find cork in good art and craft stores in both thin sheet and block form. In sheet form it has proved popular and lends itself well to the 21st century workhorse of the workshop, the laser cutter. Over the last few years we have moved to encourage aspects of this classical method of making into some of our works here at B.15. Using files, scalpels and sandpaper it is easy and engaging to sculpt into pieces of cork often requiring the user to study the subject in greater detail than they might on passing, much like life drawing or sketching.

I recently ran a short workshop on sculpting in cork in association with the ‘What We Do Here’ film project at the European Cultural Centre in Venice during the 16th Architecture Biennale. The atelier symposium; ‘Joined Up Thinking’ presented different approaches to studying, recording and designing space. Students of MSA’s Platform Atelier were given blocks of cork with the task of recreating a detail chosen from their time exploring Venice. These sketch models allowed students to engage with the material, largely for the first time, and to think about their chosen subject in carefully considered stages due to the subtractive process.

Senior lecturer and head of Platform atelier Matt Ault explains the context of the task in his teaching:

“The ever increasing availability and access to computational power continues to expand our design capacity for conceptualising, developing, communicating and fabricating. The move towards digital craft and digital tectonics recognises the central role of materiality and materialisation in architectural design and allows the benefits of the digital to be informed by our own material understanding.

Active sketching techniques of drawing, modelling and making result in a deeper understanding of any idea under interrogation or critique.

Our recent use of the cork sketching technique in Venice is part of a design task that also comprises the complimentary techniques in modelling and fabrication: digitally exploring complex, fluid surface morphologies by defining associative geometries that can be manipulated on screen.  Design iterations can be quickly and cheaply made physical through manufacturing and assembling from paper or card with the digital plotter-cutter. Testing, evaluation and understanding of the material sketch model and its construction logic feeds back into the digital modelling to evolve the design.”

(Ault, 2019)
 

Despite its age as a modelling method, it was clear following this task that cork sculpting can still offer us a mode of thought that the most contemporary mediums often steer us away from. It provides a much needed tactility to students learning along with the opportunity to expand on unknown possibilities that result from “mistakes” made along the way. During the assignment the concentration in the room was palpable with everyone, tutors included absorbed in the task at hand whilst clearly enjoying the process.

The work produced, along with additional cork sketch models will be featured at the MSA end of year show presenting the cork sculpts as 3D sketches. I look forward to seeing more examples in the coming weeks.

Scott Miller 2019


References

Ault, M, 2019, Cork Task [E-Mail]

C. Kate, 2014. Cork Colosseum X-Ray [Online Article] Available From: http://museumvictoria.com.au/about/mv-blog/apr-2014/cork-colosseum-x-ray/ Accessed 01/12/2014

Coffin, S. D. 2014. Cork for More Than Wine, The Temple of Vesta, Tivoli [Online Article] http://www.cooperhewitt.org/2014/10/30/cork-for-more-than-wine-the-temple-of-vesta-tivoli/ Accessed 01/12/14

Collen, D. 2013. The Cork-Models [Online Article] Available from: http://www.coellen-cork.com/eng/antike/history.htm Accessed 01/12/2014

Fouskaris, J. 2006. Studio I – Music Stroll Garden [Online Article] Available From: http://www.jonfouskaris.com/portfolio/music-garden.html Accessed 01/12/2014

Gillespie, R. 2016. Journal of the Classical Association of Victoria, New Series, Volume 29, From ‘Trash’ to Treasure: Museum Victoria’s Colosseum Model Available from: https://classicsvic.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/gillespie.pdf Accessed 26/11/2018

Gillespie, R. 2017. Journal of the History of Collections vol. 29 no. 2 pp. 251–269, Richard Du Bourg’s ‘Classical Exhibition’ Available From: https://academic.oup.com/jhc/article-abstract/29/2/251/2503305

Mass, M. 2014. Rare Model Craft: In The Beginning There was The Cork [Online Article] Available From: http://www.spiegel.de/karriere/berufsleben/kork-modelle-von-antiken-bauwerken-dieter-coellen-baut-miniaturen-a-983770.html Accessed 01/12/2014

Images

Fig. 1: Coellen, D. 2013 Tempel des Castor und Pollux [Online Image] Available from:  http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/dieter-coellen-baut-korkmodelle-von-antiken-bauwerken-fotostrecke-115570-8.html Accessed 01/12/2014

Fig. 2: Coellen, D. 2013 Natur pur (2) [Online Image] Available From: http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/dieter-coellen-baut-korkmodelle-von-antiken-bauwerken-fotostrecke-115570-3 Accessed 01/12/2014

Fig 3. Sir John Soanes Museum, London, Model of the Roman circular Temple of Vesta at Tivoli, near Rome, by Giovanni Altieri [Online Image]Available From: http://collections.soane.org/object-mr2 Accessed 01/10/2018

Fig 4.  Sir John Soanes Museum, London, Model of the Temple of Zeus or Apollo (the so-called Temple of Neptune or Poseidon), Paestum Attributed to Domenico Padiglione c.1820 [Online Image]Available From: http://collections.soane.org/object-mr25  Accessed 01/10/2018

Fig 5. Museums Victoria Collections, Melbourne Australia, Model – Colosseum, Richard Du Bourg, London 1775 [Online Image] Available From: https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/715107 Accessed 27/11/2018

Fig 6. Miller S. 2015, Cork Block and Sheet [Original Image]

Fig 7. Miller S. 2015, A cork sketch model by the author. [Original Image]

Figs 8 – 11. Miller S. 2018 ‘Grand Tour’ cork modelling task in Venice in association with the ECC [Original Images]

Modelling with Planning – 1:20 Detail Case Study

During the last academic year 5th year MSAp Group undertook a 1:20 detail study project to explore the relationship across a threshold junction between old and new. The Project was a great success and provides a great example of a well organised and applied use of modelmaking. A big thanks to the group who kindly responded to some questions we put to them as follows.


This model was a 1:20 sectional detail showing a threshold junction of a semi-detached house, displaying how a new annex (porch) module meets the old, non-traditional construction of a 1920s house.

Our aim was to use materials that would be close representations of the materiality applied in the construction of old to new. When planning materials, process and overall time management of the model, we created a ‘strategic planning matrix’ (below), identifying the proposed material, dimension, sourcing of material and costs (filled as we went along). The planning and sourcing of materials helped organise our time efficiently. We divided model-making processes into two parts, making components and assembly. The overall experience expanded our model-making skills, introducing many of us to new forms/ways of making.

To enable efficient team working under the time constraints of the workshop opening hours, we clarified roles and tasks daily. This helped us manage the workload and distribute tasks of the our project accordingly, therefore not all group members were always working on the model in the workshop, but on other areas of the project. A continuous level of effective communication enabled all our team members to work productively. This gave us the opportunity to explore a trial and error approach whilst making certain components, in particular when moulding and casting. It took a few attempts to get components to the ambitious standard we were aiming for.

 

As a group, we began planning the model with plenty of time ahead of deadline to ensure room for error, which proved useful during the assembly period. Collectively, we have broadened our model-making abilities/skills, and we were able to add a fine level of detail to the model, adhering to the high standard we set for ourselves, and a level of sophistication.

Overall, we gave ourselves enough time to plan, consider and make – planning and organisation became a very enjoyable task in itself and we were able to take on skills in professional practice which we hope will be applicable to working in a team in the future.

-Meera Lad, Abi Patel, Sean Martin, Danny McBride, Joe Stancer, Jack Williamson. 2018

 

WHAT WE DO HERE – TRAILER

At long last we can reveal the trailer for our upcoming anthropology documentary film “WHAT WE DO HERE”

WHAT WE DO HERE explores how aspiring architects at Manchester School of Architecture approach various stages of modelmaking as they grapple with materials, methods and machines to ultimately reveal the ways in which the models inform their individual growth and understanding. In addition to this it examines the ways that staff integrate practical making into their requirements for student assignments and within their own research projects.

Premiere Screening and Debate June 29th

The film will premiere at in Venice at Biennale Sessions, Special programme for higher education institutions at La Biennale di Venezia’s 16th International Architecture Exhibition. The screening will take place at 15.00 at the Venice Arsenale Sale D’Armi followed by speakers and a debate on the subject of making in design. Speakers will be announced shortly.

TIME SPACE EXISTENCE June 30th – November 25th

The film will take up a 5 month residence at Palazzo Bembo as part of the TIME SPACE EXISTENCE Collateral Biennale exhibition. WWDH will be screened on repeat during all opening hours at Palazzo Bembo near the famous Rialto Bridge.

SimpsonHaugh B.15 Modelmaking Awards Shortlist 2018

After whittling down over 40 long listed submissions we can announce the 20 students that have made it onto this years awards shortlist from 3rd year BA and MArch years 1 & 2. There will be 3 prizes for both groups.

In no particular order

BA Architecture
Julie Alvaer Teigen
Patricia Belcin
Lola Tartakover
Camila Fabara Von Lippke
Benjamin Norris
Hau Hui Min
Jumana Tarazi
Nour Hamade
Eleni Roka
Jhower Emanuel Sanchez-Pinela

MArch
Tom Smith & Jacob Graves
Mike Ellis & Jack Poulton
Rebekah Parkinson & Karissa Tysklind
Afshin Khalife
Trevor Stevenson & Conor King
Emily Daye
Krishna Patel
Jonathan Southgate
Jenny Bedford
Sam Walters & Matthew Wreglesworth

Thank you to all who made the effort to submit their work to be considered- there are many great projects in the show this year which were discounted here out of necessity. Well done to you all and good luck to those who have made this list. Judging will take place this Friday and the winners will be presented at the official show opening – be sure to attend as well as the practice preview event on Thursday where SimpsonHaugh will be looking to recruit both Part 1 & 2 Students.

The complete SH B.15 Awards 2018 document with project descriptions and images can be viewed here.

Good Luck everyone,

Jim, Scott, Pip and on behalf of SimpsonHaugh, Kristin Mishra, Kaia Williams and Nick Flemming

Submit your work for the SimpsonHaugh B.15 Modelmaking awards longlist 2018

Dear 3rd, 5th and 6th year students

This years Modelmaking awards sponsored by SimpsonHaugh will be judged and awarded on June 8th at the end of year show opening.

We invite anyone who is eligible (3rd, 5th and 6th years – Individual or group projects are both valid) wishing to be considered for the awards to submit the following:

  • Project title followed by no more than 350 words explaining (A) Your project brief, location, purpose etc. (B) Your use of modelmaking, Scale, Materials and Processes you used and why.
  • 3-6 images of their work in its complete state along with 1-2 process images you might have. Only projects that will be displayed to be judged should be submitted
  • Please sent separate image and text files rather than PDF.

Submissions should be sent to scott.miller@manchester.ac.uk no later than Friday 25th May. 

Remember that the awards are judged on overall approach to making alongside the actual pieces and not necessarily for a single model. More information about the awards scheme can be found here.

We encourage anyone who has made models this year to submit their work for consideration and wish everyone best of luck.

Scott & Jim

SimpsonHaugh B.15 Modelmaking Awards 2018

We are very happy to announce this years student modelmaking awards will be sponsored by SimpsonHaugh. Following on from our previous successes with recognising modelmaking at MSA this year we hope to further push students to be confident of their ideas through modelmaking.

Awards are open to BA 3rd year and both 5th and 6th year of MArch and will be awarded as 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes for BA & MArch MSA students.

Kristin Mishra, Model shop manager at SimpsonHaugh:

“We’re looking for students who demonstrate an understanding of the intrinsic link between drawings and models with appropriate use of scale and materials thus reflecting any architects need to think in both two and three dimensions.

Students should also address the factors that affect whether a model is made or not, build approach, time frame for delivery, and material costs.

At SimpsonHaugh we use physical models to explore and generate ideas, resolve and refine building proposals, communicate our design intent.  Models are especially useful in meetings and presentations. While sketch models quickly become obsolete, they document our design process – one approach didn’t work, so we tried another. We aim to help students understand that a model doesn’t have to be advanced to be of value. A simple model is as useful as a quick sketch, helping to understand three dimensional space in a way no other medium can.”

With this in mind students should be aware that these awards are not given for just one output but for an individuals application and or execution of a model or models in conjunction with their other design work.

Candidates will be notified of their nominations in the coming months before a final shortlist is chosen. All awards will be judged and presented by by MSA and SimpsonHaugh at this years end of year show opening on June 8th.


Awards Launch open office event

To mark the official launch of this years awards in collaboration with SimpsonHaugh there will be an introduction and open office event taking place on March 20th at 17.00. There will be a short presentation about this years awards scheme followed by a chance to, see the office/workshop, ask questions and network with SH staff.

>>>>>    Click here to register your place at the event.    <<<<<

Entry to this event is strictly limited and exclusive to MSA.

Sign up early to ensure your place!


SimpsonHaugh at B.15

Over the coming months there will be a number of dates where Kristin Mishra, Modelshop Manager at SH will be present at the workshop to offer advice and observe work in progress. This is a great opportunity to speak to a modelmaker who can offer a wealth of experience from her years of modelmaking in practice so is not to be missed. These dates will be confirmed soon and posted to Moodle so be sure to take advantage.

Find out more about SimpsonHaugh here: www.simpsonhaugh.com/

 

Design Process: The value of failure before success

Back in June there was much to be celebrated at the end of year show where many MSA students revealed their hard work to eager practice and public visitors. Part of the popular launch is the prize giving ceremony where students are selected for their prowess in specific areas of study. Drawing, Team-work, Innovation, Sketchbook, Academic and Visual achievement awards have been permanent fixtures at the school for many years. A more recent addition to this list is our own: The B.15 Modelmaking awards sponsored by Mecanoo.
For the past three years Netherlands based architects Mecanoo have generously supported our desire to celebrate the use of models within architectural design. The awards consider not just a single piece of work but each individuals attitude and approach to using physical models as a vehicle to advance the understanding of their design to both themselves and to others.

This has helped to stimulate an improved output in terms of typology and quality of the models produced across all years of study. This year highlighted that with the number of long-listed projects proving difficult to cut down. Seeing these projects develop over the academic year put us as technicians in a good position to see not only the physical changes in terms of the work but in each individuals attitudes to the idea of making in design and how its correct use can serve to inform key design decisions along the way.
I decided to write this article to highlight a particular case in which a student initially struggled to grasp the idea of experimentation before settling on the most appropriate way forward with their work. The student won this years’ MArch first prize for his use of modelmaking. A prize which was well deserved and from our perspective a pleasure to award given the steep learning curve and effective turnaround that was made over the last two years of study.

James Donegan was one of the lucky few who managed to get selected to take part in the Material Application workshop that took place at the start of 2016. The main aims for this workshop were to encourage the use of testing in order for each student to better understand the processes they were looking at. Put simply, the high value was placed in seeing the mistakes made and not just in the analysis of a finished piece. James aimed to cast a staircase detail in plaster. I asked James to recount the experience:

“I spent too much time working on the computer and setting up cut files without really doing any research into the casting process and consequently, I ran into many hurdles and had to abandon the process all together. Although the project ultimately failed, the experience taught me the value of testing and sampling before any commitment.”

Despite having initial struggles to get his models to flow smoothly within his project it was clear from the technicians perspective that something was shifting in James’ approach.

“I started to realise the process between translating a digital model into a physical one isn’t always easy, especially if you’re trying out something new. Even before I have a clear concept for a model, I would get into the workshop as early possible and start testing ideas which would feed back to inform my designs as well as the making process.”

 

 

 

 

 

James’ outputs clearly grew and the content became much more varied and refined through constant testing. This was a notable change from his initial approaches which were driven entirely by computer manipulation.

So what tips would James offer to anyone wanting to make or improve the use of models within their design work?

“Always consult the technicians before starting on a process you’re not familiar with. It will save you a lot of time. If you can, get the basic modelmaking done at home – it’ll mean you can take full advantage of the facilities during the B.15 opening hours. Try to limit dependency on the popular machines like the laser cutter – a lot of the work people use it for can be done by hand and it usually looks better. Experiment and don’t let failure discourage you – its progress.”

 

 

 

 

 


James is now working locally at Tim Groom Architects. We wish him the best of luck for his future career.

Thanks to James Donegan for sharing this thoughts and recollections.

Scott