THE MODEL, A MEANS OF STUDY AND EXAMINATION OF A WORK OF ART , FROM ITS CONCEPITION TO ITS FULFILMENT 

 

 What better way to introduce this topic from an architectural point of view, than to start with a passage from Alberti's Treatise:

 

 

“.......Using scale models, re-examine every part of your proposal two, three, four, seven - up to ten times, taking breaks in between, until from the very roots to the uppermost tile there is nothing, concealed or open, large or small, for which you have not thought out, resolved, and determined, thoroughly and at length, the most handsome and effective position, order, and number”. De re aedificatoria - IX, 8         

 

The model, whether effectively real or virtual, is an indispensable instrument for the process of design, research, verification and final submission of the work.  We could also add from a didactical point of view, that modelling plays a fundamental formative role, in fact a model cannot be created if the project is incorrect, at least technically.  Secondly, following a deep analysis of the graphics, a great deal of abstraction is needed to adequately break down the entire project, for it  then to be reassembled with the right finishing touches, using the adopted scale, chosen materials and processing techniques. Having said this, I would dwell in favour of real models, not to establish an anachronistic supremacy in comparison to virtual models (the two methods of representation are not conflicting as they are both necessary and used by those who work in this field) but rather to reinforce the importance of manual skills, knowledge of materials and the relative working techniques in the basic training of an architect. Also from an aesthetic point of view, should the construed interpretation be successful, the physicality of the real model allows maximum freedom of interpretation for the observer, without any obligatory viewpoints. The materials and techniques used to create the models may be numerous.  It all depends on the adopted kind of project and scale; it could be an urban, architectural or technological plastic model, or an academic model or one required for a design competition or even a plastic to be submitted to a wider public.  In practice, a schedule and method of portrayal must be agreed each time, fully complying to the specific needs of designers and contractors. Personally, throughout the course of my work, that I started when I was still studying in the "Faculty of Architecture" in Rome, I have been able to experiment with various techniques, initiating with "Fabriano" cardboard (which was inevitable, stemming from my sole experience of drawing with a drafting machine) to currently end up with numerically controlled devices that have been imposed upon us by the revolution of information technology of recent years.

The images chosen for the "Site Catalogue" are a representative selection of the above,  briefly summing up over thirty years of work.

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