The Place of Model Making in the Architectural Design Process: A Literature Review


Fadeyi Ayomipo Akintunde
Adejokun Paul Adeyinka
Abass Dare Abideen


Physical Model Making did not begin with the technological revolution that gave us hi-tech materials and the ability to build accurate models. Rather, it has a rich tradition dating back through the ages. Where there has been Architecture there has always been Physical Models. As a part of the design process, models provide a fairly quick mean to generate, communicate or get feedbacks on new ideas. At the turn of the twentieth century came the advent of Computer Aided Design (CAD) through which Virtual Models are being built. CAD is touted with so many advantages as a design tool. Can virtual model be substituted for physical models? When compared with physical models, it lacks feel and it remains trapped behind a two-dimensional computer screen. Which makes the exploration of crucial ideas and presentation of others with physical models inevitable still date. The fact that physical models have survived all these years is an indication of how critical it is to the design process. Though the art have advanced with technology, the concept of it visualisation and it benefits of three-dimensional thinking has remained the same. This paper reviews relevant literatures to account for the history of the art and how it became a part of architecture. Not dwelling on the methods, rather looking at the art and how critical it is as a "design tool”. Furthermore, it impact on architectural designs was highlighted and evaluated in order to reach a conclusion on the place of model making in the architectural design process and what this portends for it future in architecture.