Architectural Modelmaking, Design Development, Bespoke Design & Construction. Part of The University of Manchester (SEED School of Environment, Education and Development) Part of the Manchester School of Architecture
3rd year Student Sandra Schenavsky decided to take a materialistic approach to her final submission model. The proposed site in Ancoats would feature a well rounded use of buildings to create a ‘Work, Life and Leisure’ balance for those who might use the space.
Sandra wanted to convey the different uses of each element of her design by representing them as near to her proposed material finish as possible. To do this the existing site and landscaping was represented in laser cut card contours. The main building itself was constructed using pigmented plaster casts to represent concrete sections, laser cut MDF to represent wooden cladding and laser cut acrylic to represent glass facades.
This was a great experimentation project which found a good balance of techniques. Casting plaster into MDF molds proved challenging but after several trials Sandra was able to come up with an effective way of casting the forms she wanted.
Earlier this month 5th Year students took on the role of supervisors for groups of 1st and 2nd Year’s group projects. This consisted of a shared brief laid out by the 5th years to give an insight into group working and basic making in the Architecture Degree courses.
The tasks laid out were varied and required full participation from all involved to meet the deadlines. Of particular success was the furniture restoration project that aimed to increase the value of old furniture through simple repair or re-design. Items of old furniture were purchased from charities with the aim of increasing their value through restoration. All sales profits then going back to the charities they were bought from.
Since our last post we have barely been able to move for people in the workshop, regularly maxing out our capacity. Deadlines for exhibition construction have meant a surge of students getting their show pieces and exhibit spaces completed.
There have been many co-ordinated groupâ€™s mass producing components for exhibition over the last few weeks here at SED. Whilst there has been a positive hive of activity, there have been a few instances where machines such as the laser cutter have been wrongly used which we hope to address ahead of the next academic year. This really just comes down to being aware of when it is appropriate to use a specific machine for a given job.
There is a good chance we will be implementing a ‘pay up front’ policy for use of the CAD driven machines and for the materials we supply due to the number of no-shows and the knock on effect that causes to other students wanting to use the machines. Please be aware that these changes are likely to be in place come September.
This project seemed to go on forever but Ben got there in the end after much thought and perseverance! Ben described the project in his own words for us:
“The project centred around the concepts of subtractive architectural restoration, revealing existing elements on site and adding additional elements to solve architectural anomalies often found in historical cities such as this. The models represent at differing scales how the site interacts with this new architecture as well as how my own building functioned within the new public spaces created by this subtraction. Many of the models are abstract forms of more sophisticated concepts yet the message remains concise as to what each model is trying to achieve by the way of simplifying the material pallet and not resorting to complicated methods. The models are also interchangeable as long as they are created at the same scale and can be reused to create new models later on or explain an idea in greater detail. Model making is an integral part of any designer’s toolbox and new techniques should be tested, however often you can find that a new take on a tried and tested method will result in unexpected outcomes that will further you design.”
This series of models certainly give a varied view of Bens proposed project which is exactly what you should be trying to achieve in your submissions. Models are there to convey different aspects of your design in the best possible way. Spending time to think about exactly what you want to show and how best to show it is time well spent as frustrating as it can be at times!
Also, as a side note to you all, unless you plan to take your array of models with you to interviews etc. then good photography is essential to document your work. We will be looking to a devoted photography area of the workshop in the coming months in time for the start of your new term in September.
Dr Joanne Tippett, based here in the Humanities Building, got in touch with us to help her produce several prototype jigsaws for her â€˜RoundViewâ€™ Project. This is a whole systems approach to sustainability, which has come from research funded by the Sustainable Consumption Institute here at the University. The jigsaws are being manufactured by Ketso (founded by Joanne). Ketso offers various interactive hands-on engagement packs to allow groups of people to contribute to discussions fairly in group working and learning environments.
The â€˜Eco Puzzleâ€™ we have been involved in is nearing its final stages with Joanne hoping for mass production if interest from organisations such as the Manchester Science and Industry Museum and others is taken forward.
Contact Joanne at email@example.com if you would like to know more.
Yesterday myself and Jim travelled down to London to visit the Grand Designs Live show at ExCel. The show presents hundreds of suppliers from various design industries inspired by the hit TV series. Of particular interest to us was the use of models as sales pieces for show participants. This was not limited to scaled down architectural pieces but full size 1:1 constructions and prototype details. Throughout the day we were able to meet a variety of people and spread the word about the workshop, this blog and the courses we are involved with here in Manchester.
Several weeks ago we posted about the dwelle project that was completed in the workshop. This project was and continues to be very successful for dwelle in demonstrating the construction behind their eco house design. The model made a starring appearance at the show next to the Grand Theatre which hosts many design related lectures over 10 days.
As well as visiting ExCel we stopped by at the V & A to have a quick look at their Architecture gallery. The gallery features a good selection of model types and styles and is well worth a visit if you are in the area.
Lisa’s project has explored Facade detail for a proposed film related site in Bradford. Alongside site and massing models (above) Lisa has created an unusual facade concept to cover her proposed buildings. Taking from the idea of aperture and its use in film, her concept uses varying sizes of hole to create images of the city around the building that appear to change as the light conditions change.
The completed building facade would feature a panorama of Bradford around created around each elevation.
These tests were done on paper using images created by changing images into vector in Adobe Illustrator. The laser cutter can work with most paper and card materials to produce effects like this and countless other.
To further convey the detail within the Site as shown in Sam’s 1:500 site model, this model takes a section of one of the buildings to focus on. By using a ‘cut through’ approach at 1:100 the viewer is able to better understand the complexity or layout of a building’s construction that is not put across in models of a smaller scale.
Sam used a variety of materials and techniques to create this cross section but of most importance to note is that it was largely hand crafted and assembled. Whilst CAD based machines can greatly benefit the construction of elements of your models they are best used as additional tools for making rather than the sole producer of your models.
This model used laser cut parts to great effect such as the window frames and shelving units which, if done by hand would come at great cost in terms of your time. Time spent drawing accurate components for other flat elements of this model, is far better spent simply hand cutting them. This is also a lot cheaper! Use machines appropriately – ask a member of staff when deciding how to construct your model for their take on the best approach.