About

This page showcases the outputs of two AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) funded projects: the International Research Network Architectural Models in Context: Creativity, Skill and Spectacle, and the follow on project  Shaping Space: Architectural models in Context.

The Network set out to bring together all those interested in the history, current practice and future of architectural model-making. The intention was to share knowledge, to take stock of the current state of the field, and to identify productive areas for future practice and research. It was headed by the V&A (Dr. Simona Valeriani and Dr Olivia Horsfall Turner) in a collaboration  with a variety of specialists from  different institutions: Architectural Association (London); Architectural Museum of the technical University (Munich); École Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Paris); MAP Laboratory, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Marseille); Royal Institute of British Architects (London) and Sir John Soane’s Museum (London).

The work of the Network was set forth through a follow on project for Impact and Engagement led by Dr. Simona Valeriani and Dr. Marta Ajmar from VARI (V&A research Institute) in collaboration with the Building Centre (Ms Vanessa Norwoord). The project comprised an exhibition, events and a schools programme. Together, they provided unique opportunities to engage with modelmaking and use, positioning models centre stage, telling their stories and exploring their role in enabling the understanding of architecture and its context.

The exhibition Shaping Space: Architectural Models Revealed, was curated by Vanessa Norwood, Simona Valeriani, Harriett Jennings and Mathilde Savary and was held at the Building Centre from 24 September 2021 until 5 March 2022. It invited specialists, the general public and schools to examine the role of modelmaking in contemporary practice, between the physical and the digital, while exploring the historical dimension. The schools programme, led by Ms Rebecca Goozee,  took the modelmaking practice as a springboard for the use of design and making as a cross-curricular activity and produced short films, teaching resources and recorded CPD workshops.

A further output of these project was the book An Alphabet of Architectural Models, published by Merrell to accompany the Exhibition.

We hope you will enjoy exploring this page delving into our multimedia resources looking at models and their makers, thinking about how models are made, documented, collected and stored, how they can be used as a springboard for research and teaching.