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
“I’ve always used models as part of the narrative of a project. It’s like having the site in the studio or practice so you can consult the model any time you need”
MSA established its year long MA in Architecture and Urbanism in 2006 and his since grown from strength to strength in numbers and, of course, staff. This October, Chilean architect Claudio Molina Camacho will be welcoming new students to the course for his first full year as associate lecturer for MA A+U and BA second year.
Having completed a number of full scale projects in Chile and taught at MSA part-time, we sat down with Claudio to ask what it means to him to make models in design and if they are still relevant now he’s back in education as an associate lecturer.
Earlier this year students from the Material Politics atelier were involved in a live social housing project in Ecuador. The project was concerned with the design and construction of social housing that was affordable and sustainable. In addition the design required a level of variability determined by location, need or individual preference. In order to convey these potential variants of construction the group designed a model kit that would allow the community to engage with the proposed construction and personally modify the arrangement of their future home through the model.
Each model kit was designed as a series of singular or pre-constructed elements made from laser cut plywood. The production of such parts requires some testing to ensure correct fit of joints as well as the issue of space within the components boxes.
The 1:50 flexible model showcases a social housing typology designed for the informal neighbourhood of Monte Sina, in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The typology proposes a construction system which can be adapted to each family’s particular needs and be constructed incrementally, rather than a set building design. As a result, the 1:50 model acts both as a device to communicate the structural principles of the typology and a co-production tool, allowing each family to design their home according to specific needs, wishes and conditions. In each model kit taken to Monte Sina, a manual is included, explaining the contents of the kit and the structural components out of which the houses are made. The neighbours were therefore able to debate their spatial needs in an illustrative manner and mock up their future houses with ease.
The group produced an accompanying assembly guide for families wanting to use the kits. This serves as a great insight for us to the design of the model and how such thorough thought can be applied and transferred to full scale construction planning. The guide can be viewed online here.
Many thanks to Eira Capelan for her summary of the project.
Recently the Manchester School of Art’s Benzie Building has been nominated for the RIBA Stirling Prize 2014. The buildling serves as the new main entranceway to Manchester School of art and of course the Architecture studios.
With some interesting coverage and video of the building, this linkÂ from the BBC is of particular interest to the subject.
Part way down the page you will find a video interview with Keith Bradley and Tom Jarman of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios who designed the building. They use two models of the site and building to explain their design. Using models to explain design in this way can be really useful to convey your ideas to a group or individual as is clearly seen in the BBC video.