Model making as a value-added tool in public, educational and professional domains

Hadia, Hatem Ahmed Ali
Models are one of the oldest mediums used for creating, communicating and representing ideas throughout the ages, whether these ideas are based on dogmatic, intellectual, ideological, or architectural thought (belief). Whatever their purpose, models, embody a value that reflects their worth to their makers/owners; but this value is not easy to quantify as it may be based on implicit considerations that are difficult to define and measure. On the other hand, it is possible to add measurable value to human endeavors by the use of models. The purpose of this study is, therefore, to investigate the impacts and importance of models in the relevant domains, i.e. public, education, and professional; and to determine the value added to a project by model-making. Data in these three domains was gathered from interviews, questionnaire surveys, course performance grades, modeling skills’ evaluations, universities, local officials, and from an experimental studio course. In the public domain, the value added due to the impact of architectural models was measured by conducting a survey amongst the visitors to the Miniaturk Park in Istanbul. In the educational domain, the premise was that a design idea evolves as a 3-dimensional object in the designer’s mind, which is transferred to 2-dimensional sketches and drawings and then re-transferred into the final 3D object; hence, design should start with a 3D model of the project. This study, therefore, proposed a new methodological approach based on the use of model-making as a design tool, to improve and strengthen the students’ performance and creativity. To this end an experimental design course was conducted in two international universities in the 3rd, 4th and 5th year studios. By observing and evaluating the students’ performance in these courses it became possible to define the impacts of physical models in the learning environment as a measurable value. The evaluation criteria too were defined to formulate a uniform and transparent assessment system for the students’ projects. In the professional domain, the study investigated the impacts of both modeling mediums (physical and digital modeling) on the design and production of buildings, through a survey of various architects. It was determined that model making can be used as a tool to add value to architectural projects and edifices. It was also seen that the value-added impact of architectural models in the public, educational and professional domains can be accurately measured.
Citation Formats
H. A. A. Hadia, “Model making as a value-added tool in public, educational and professional domains,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2015.