Architectural Modelmaking, Design Development, Bespoke Design & Construction. Part of The University of Manchester (SEED School of Environment, Education and Development) Part of the Manchester School of Architecture
************This years collaboration has been cancelled due to Covid-19**************
Earlier this week our 3rd collaboration with Atelier La Juntana came to a close after a productive course of learning in the North Spanish sunshine. We’ll be posting more coverage of this years cohort in the coming weeks but first…
Hot off the heals of this years successful week-long course we’re pleased to announce the next installment of of our collaboration will take place between July 7th and July 13th 2020! This is the first time we have been able to confirm our collaboration at this early stage and applications are now open to MSA students (and staff!). The week long course near Santander provides a foundation in a range of craft and making skills for your design and presentation work back here at MSA.
Apply here for more information about the 2020 MSA exclusive week:
Following the success of the last two years of MSA collaborating with Atelier La Juntana we are pleased to announce the third edition of the MSA exclusive week taking place 9th – 15th July 2019. The course takes place in the north of Spain outside the city of Santander in the coastal town of Liencres.
Students of 1st, 2nd and 5th year Architecture are encouraged to take part in the week long course which provides a foundation in a wide range of making skills for your design and presentation work back here at MSA.
Watch footage for the last two MSA atelier groups here:
********* DON’T MISS OUT – APPLY FOR 2019 NOW! **********
MSA Students will pay the discounted rate of £425 for the full week long course and also have the option 8 nights of discounted accommodation. This fee may be further reduced subject to extra sponsorship.
Fees Update: Funding from the student experience fund here at UoM has allowed a further discount to MSA applications which will be subsidised by at least £50. The exact amount will depend on the final number of attendees and will be applied after applications close.
Apply here for more information about the 2019 MSA exclusive week:
“Everyone in the office uses models. Everyone produces models all the time. It’s the way the office designs and is an excellent designing tool. It’s been a philosophy of Normans right from the outset.”
“Its a constant battle to convince the teams to just let us build the difficult complex elements. Parts [are added] to sketch models or foam models. They work really well with hand built models. We try to avoid building big blocks of expensive material as it’s a terrible waste of the technology.”
– Gregor Anderson, In-House Rapid Prototyping Manager at Foster + Partners
As one of the most well known practices on the planet we were very pleased to welcome three representatives from Foster + Partners to present their insights as part of Modelmaking in the Digital Age.
Head of Modelmaking Neil Vandersteen introduced the presentation explaining and overview of the company and how modelmaking has proved a constant through changes and expansion. Ed Bartlet, Model shop CAD Support Manager explains the increased use of CAD as a starting medium that has come to begin almost all projects.
Integrating with other professions within the organisation is a common theme which continues with Gregor Anderson, Foster + Partners in-house Rapid Prototyping Manager. Gregor talks through the uses of RP and it’s integration the long established modelshop. With over 50 full time modelmaking staff at Foster + Partners there is little sign of this tool disappearing anytime soon.
“If you’re really involved in the design process and in fabrication process you can link both of these things and then students can see that everything is part of architecture. Everything is really as one. There is no segregation and that’s something that for us is really important”
In our fourth presentation of the day Dr Stavric of TU Graz brought an insight from architectural education in Austria. Dr Stavric presents a range of teaching techniques that revolve around making and the idea of un-concious learning when making.
There is an interesting argument here for the compulsory use of a foundation year of making and software learning before students are deemed skilled enough to advance to more advanced architectural briefs.
“As commercial modelmakers we look at all the options available to us to make sure that we’re making the best model for the client’s money. I think this is what makes modelmaking companies like ourselves a bit different than the generic 3d printing bureau who will just be pushing this one method.
When you come to a commercial modelmakers that does a lot of things under one roof they can advise you on the best way to do something rather than just saying this is the way to do it”
The profession of modelmaking exists outside of the walls of architecture in almost every creative field you can think of. Amalgam Modelmaking Ltd in Bristol prides itself on being able to take on as many of these projects as it can handle. James Smith, Head of Architectural Modelmaking at Amalgam, explains how the wide array of skills under one roof has helped them to meet commercial demands no matter what the requirement. James’ insight from the middle of Â the architect/client relationship is provides a facinating and often overlooked viewpoint of the process.
I’m not a trained modelmaker. I was a qualified Architect when I started and at first I felt a little like a fish out of water until I realised you could make models do whatever you want. It’s more like an art sometimes, especially when you’re working with concept models than an actual process of representation Ken Grix
In the second of our presentations from Modelmaking in the Digital Age in-house modelmaker and architect Ken Grix talks through his approach to modelmaking at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios in Bath. The relationship between the studio and workshop environment is considered integral to the design process at FCB and Ken’s projects clearly convey this.
“We often, in a good way – don’t know what we’re doing. We don’t know what the possibilities may be which is why making a model can be very productive. […] They explore a journey. They tell us things that we didn’t necessarily know and we can get surprised sometimes by what’s produced. These are part of a narrative behind the design that becomes very very important.” – Professor Nick Dunn
Our first speaker at Modelmaking in the Digital Age was Professor Nick Dunn who currently works at ImaginationLancaster and was a former lecturer here at MSA. Professor Dunn opened the talks by explaining as he puts it ‘the archaeology of application’ of architectural models.
For those unsure about the origins and development of architectural models as tools Professor Dunn provides a fascinating insight here.
“Modelmaking is one of these core activities within architecture and it’s something that we often take for granted. It’s a key way of us actually exploring what it means for us to produce architecture” – Dr Raymond Lucas
On March 9th we hosted a day long symposium on the theme of Modelmaking within architecture and how its role has changed from the different perspectives in which it takes place. The presentations and debates from the day were recorded in full and we are pleased to able to present them here to all who were unable to attend or have an interest in the field.
The event was chaired by Head of Architecture at the University of Manchester Dr. Raymond Lucas who, in our first video explains the key areas in question.
Just a quick message to everyone who came to speak and helped us make yesterday’s symposium event possible. We thoroughly enjoyed the day and everyone was extremely positive about our approach to modelmaking and it’s future in architecture.
In all we had 90+ registered guests from a variety of backgrounds all with a shared interest of the subject. Thank you for all your support, it means a lot.
The event was full of interesting presentations and discussions that we are hopeful will lead to further expansion and future events orientated around the subject of how we use models in architecture.
We will be uploading footage of the event for those who missed it in the coming months so stay tuned for those.
Many thanks to all again – we can’t thank you enough!