Exhibition Preparations in the Workshop

Since our last post we have barely been able to move for people in the workshop, regularly maxing out our capacity. Deadlines for exhibition construction have meant a surge of students getting their show pieces and exhibit spaces completed.


There have been many co-ordinated group’s mass producing components for exhibition over the last few weeks here at SED. Whilst there has been a positive hive of activity, there have been a few instances where machines such as the laser cutter have been wrongly used which we hope to address ahead of the next academic year. This really just comes down to being aware of when it is appropriate to use a specific machine for a given job.

There is a good chance we will be implementing a ‘pay up front’ policy for use of the CAD driven machines and for the materials we supply due to the number of no-shows and the knock on effect that causes to other students wanting to use the machines. Please be aware that these changes are likely to be in place come September.

Details of the Degree Show can be found here: http://degreeshow.mmu.ac.uk/locations/

Extension to the Academy of Fine Arts, Venice, Benjamin Hale

This project seemed to go on forever but Ben got there in the end after much thought and perseverance! Ben described the project in his own words for us:

“The project centred around the concepts of subtractive architectural restoration, revealing existing elements on site and adding additional elements to solve architectural anomalies often found in historical cities such as this.  The models represent at differing scales how the site interacts with this new architecture as well as how my own building functioned within the new public spaces created by this subtraction. Many of the models are abstract forms of more sophisticated concepts yet the message remains concise as to what each model is trying to achieve by the way of simplifying the material pallet and not resorting to complicated methods. The models are also interchangeable as long as they are created at the same scale and can be reused to create new models later on or explain an idea in greater detail. Model making is an integral part of any designer’s toolbox and new techniques should be tested, however often you can find that a new take on a tried and tested method will result in unexpected outcomes that will further you design.”

This series of models certainly give a varied view of Bens proposed project which is exactly what you should be trying to achieve in your submissions. Models are there to convey different aspects of your design in the best possible way. Spending time to think about exactly what you want to show and how best to show it is time well spent as frustrating as it can be at times!

Also, as a side note to you all, unless you plan to take your array of models with you to interviews etc. then good photography is essential to document your work. We will be looking to a devoted photography area of the workshop in the coming months in time for the start of your new term in September.

1:100 section model of a distribution/retail centre in Bradford, Sam Higgins

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To further convey the detail within the Site as shown in Sam’s 1:500 site model, this model takes a section of one of the buildings to focus on. By using a ‘cut through’ approach at 1:100 the viewer is able to better understand the complexity or layout of a building’s construction that is not put across in models of a smaller scale.

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Sam used a variety of materials and techniques to create this cross section but of most importance to note is that it was largely hand crafted and assembled. Whilst CAD based machines can greatly benefit the construction of elements of your models they are best used as additional tools for making rather than the sole producer of your models.

This model used laser cut parts to great effect such as the window frames and shelving units which, if done by hand would come at great cost in terms of your time. Time spent drawing accurate components for other flat elements of this model, is far better spent simply hand cutting them. This is also a lot cheaper! Use machines appropriately – ask a member of staff when deciding how to construct your model for their take on the best approach.

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Noise Testing Aggregate models. 5th Year group Project

Aggregate Tests These 5th year MA Architecture students are using various aggregate mixes to create a series of test pieces for potential facade finishes. The blocks are being used to test how sound changes depending on the block being used. Any obvious changes such as increased or decreased pitch will be noted and taken into account when discussing the potential used of such finishes as external facades.We should be seeing more developments in this project in the future.

Project by Sophie Samuels, Ellis Murphy, Dev Coll, Ben Porter and Flo Fernandes.

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‘Trimo Urban Crash Bike Base’ Competition entry, Alexandr Valakh

This competition entry was completed in January 2013 by 5th year MA Architecture student Alexandr Valakh. Here is a brief project description taken from Arch Daily:

‘In digital imaging, a pixel, is a physical point in a raster image, or the smallest addressable element in a display device; so it is the smallest controllable element of a picture represented on the screen. The pixel is a multifunctional Cafe and Bike storage repair stop, designed on an orthogonal grid, with entirely adaptable elements including optional layouts and furniture arrangements. The Pixel like its name sake is in an adaptable social environment designed to to create a new and flexible social public space.

These spatial responses include differing strategies for Daytime, Nighttime as we all as
different strategies which can be implemented to respond to environmental/seasonal factors, site conditions as well as security requirements.’ -Alexandr Valakh

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Alexandr used laser cut ply wood to create this concept model showing how his proposed design would look in relation to its surroundings. He also used a minimum of contextual details such as people and a car to further convey its scale.

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In addition to the context model Alexandr produced a detail model of the units construction featuring laser cut bike silhouettes. The level of detail shown in this detail model would be inappropriate on the smaller context model.

‘Exchange Parade Theatre’ Context Model, Rachel Jenkins

Just completed design development model, this 1:500 context model aims to show how this proposed theatre design will sit within what is currently an urban car parking space. The model includes subterranean levels and roadways that make up the different site levels. At this stage the model can be disassembled to allow for possible design changes to be discussed with Rachel’s tutors.

Cross Sectional Bridge Model, East Croydon Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge, Charlie Kentish


This 1:50 scale cross section model used laser cut cardboard for the supporting structure and 3D Powder Printing for the parametric roof design. The roof section was created digitally using Grasshopper. The project was commended by the Manchester Society of Architects in the design awards for 2012.

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3D Powder Printed model , Jonathan Cunningham

This 3D powder print was made as part of a live brief during the development stages of this project. The model was used to convey the proposed building details to prospective buyers and residents opposed to the development in what was considered to be a very sensitive site for new construction. In addition to the powder printed structure acrylic sections were added to convey handrail and window details.