Model as Building – Building as Model

This studio explores the emergence of the phenomenon of Model as 'Building-Building as Model', whereby projects of varying size or purpose are designed and built anywhere but on site, using the latest sustainable materials, bespoke production, design software,  and cultural trending. This phenomenon is not mainstream (or even familiar) with most professionals, but one look at it suggests that it has more in common with some of the things that take place on the trays of the GSD, than with any traditional building process. This phenomenon isn't about making buildings in the traditional sense; rather, it is about making 1:1 models.

'Model as Building-Building as Model' is not a technical theme, and, in this sense, this studio is not about construction. It is about reflecting on the nature of building, and enriching our disciplinary understanding of architecture and urbanity with the conceptual breakthroughs performed by unsuspecting actors of the off site manufacturing world. Architects, builders, urban designers, engineers, developers and financiers engaged in the sort of under the radar thinking which, from Gropius to Archigram, has echoes of radical Modernist design practice.

The studio will explore the potential of Model as Building-Building as Model and look for ways in which the off-site can be creatively and speculatively applied to select programs, some existing (modular, Lego-like housing; one off buildings designed to measure; affordable houses; futuristic pods) and some speculative. There will two sites, programs and scales to choose from, both located in Scotland, UK.

The studio is supported by the GSD, Scotland’s Building Exchange (BeX) and Edinburgh Napier University.  We will travel to the old city of Edinburgh, Scotland, for an intense week of seminars, factory tours, and site visits in February 2018.

This studio is open to students in architecture and urban design.  It is for the intellectually curious, the makers, those who love making models, and exploring the reality of things.