B.15:ARCHITYPES Opening by Dr Raymond Lucas

B.15:ARCHITYPES exhibition was opened with a private view opening on Friday September 16th. The exhibition was opened by Dr Raymond Lucas who spoke about the role models play at the Manchester School of Architecture.

The exhibition is now open 9.00 – 16.30 Monday to Friday for the foreseeable future.

Watch the opening address here:

Thank you to everyone who has supported in donating their work and who came along to the private view event. In particular to Saul ‘Dr Magic’ Parker-Backhouse who had a hand in everything involved in the making. 

Scott & Jim

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B.15: ARCHITYPES Exhibition

ARCHITYPES PosterWe are very pleased to announce a new modelmaking exhibition of student projects opening September 2016: ‘B.15: ARCHITYPES’

The exhibition charts the different applications of modelmaking used by students of Architecture at the Manchester School of Architecture acting as a point of reference and inspiration in the subject.

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Featuring over 80 pieces of varied types and styles from across 5 years of education. The display is supported by a brand new guidebook describing the projects material make-up and context.

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Private View Opening

The exhibition will be opened with a private view on Friday 16th September from 17.30 onward. Dr Raymond Lucas will be present to officially mark the opening with a short introduction. This event is free for all so please come and join us in celebration of the subject there will be refreshments provided.

The exhibition will then be open 9.00 – 16.30 Monday to Friday.

Please contact us if you require any further information: scott.miller@manchester.ac.uk

Hope to see you there!

Jim & Scott

Mecanoo B.15 Modelmaking Award 2016 Winners

Final judging for this years Mecanoo B.15 Modelamking awards took place on Friday afternoon ahead of the end of year show opening.

Representatives from Mecanoo were Laurens Kistemaker, Paul Daly, Oliver Boaler along with former MSA Student and previous award winner Sara Hammond. Representing MSA were Jim and myself and Dr Ray Lucas.

Judging awards

As with last years award judging looked at the overall quality of the finished models, The effectiveness of their response to the brief and the integration of modelmaking into each students designing process. This proved once again to be very tough and created a fantastic post-marking deliberation over the final results.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the efforts and quality of the students work, which therefore made it really hard for us to pick just 6 winners. We covered both sides (skill and representation of the brief) of modelmaking with a judging team of 3 modelmakers and 3 architects. I hope we as mecanoo together with Jim and Scott have contributed to push the continued importance of modelmaking in architectural learning and practice.”

– Laurens Kistemaker 

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Prizes were presented by Laurens Kistemaker and Professor Tom Jefferies to the winners who were as follows:

1st Prize MArch: Daniel Kempski & Peter Lee

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2nd Prize MArch: Natalie Dosser & Diana Muresan

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3rd Prize MArch: Sam Beddingfield

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1st Prize BA (Hons) Architecture: Ciara Tobin

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2nd Prize BA (Hons) Architecture: Akhil Mathew

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3rd Prize BA (Hons) Architecture: Daniel Vella

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We would like to thank all at Mecanoo for their continued support of this award which has already built on last years success with another quality display of projects.

Congratulations to all who made the hard earned short-list and eventual winners! We hope you will continue to employ the use of modelmaking in your learning and future careers whatever they may be.

Scott and Jim at B.15

Modelmaking in the Digital Age Symposium Videos: Dr. Milena Stavric, TU Graz, Austria

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“If you’re really involved in the design process and in fabrication process you can link both of these things and then students can see that everything is part of architecture. Everything is really as one. There is no segregation and that’s something that for us is really important”

In our fourth presentation of the day Dr Stavric of TU Graz brought an insight from architectural education in Austria. Dr Stavric presents a range of teaching techniques that revolve around making and the idea of un-concious learning when making.

There is an interesting argument here for the compulsory use of a foundation year of making and software learning before students are deemed skilled enough to advance to more advanced architectural briefs.

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Modelmaking in the Digital Age Symposium Videos: James Smith, Amalgam Modelmaking Ltd

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“As commercial modelmakers we look at all the options available to us to make sure that we’re making the best model for the client’s money. I think this is what makes modelmaking companies like ourselves a bit different than the generic 3d printing bureau who will just be pushing this one method.

When you come to a commercial modelmakers that does a lot of things under one roof they can advise you on the best way to do something rather than just saying this is the way to do it”

The profession of modelmaking exists outside of the walls of architecture in almost every creative field you can think of. Amalgam Modelmaking Ltd in Bristol prides itself on being able to take on as many of these projects as it can handle. James Smith, Head of Architectural Modelmaking at Amalgam, explains how the wide array of skills under one roof has helped them to meet commercial demands no matter what the requirement. James’ insight from the middle of  the architect/client relationship is provides a facinating and often overlooked viewpoint of the process.

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Modelmaking in the Digital Age Symposium Videos: Ken Grix, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

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I’m not a trained modelmaker. I was a qualified Architect when I started and at first I felt a little like a fish out of water until I realised you could make models do whatever you want. It’s more like an art sometimes, especially when you’re working with concept models than an actual process of representation Ken Grix

In the second of our presentations from Modelmaking in the Digital Age in-house modelmaker and architect Ken Grix talks through his approach to modelmaking at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios in Bath. The relationship between the studio and workshop environment is considered integral to the design process at FCB and Ken’s projects clearly convey this.

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Modelmaking in the Digital Age Symposium Videos: Professor Nick Dunn

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“We often, in a good way – don’t know what we’re doing. We don’t know what the possibilities may be which is why making a model can be very productive. […] They explore a journey. They tell us things that we didn’t necessarily know and we can get surprised sometimes by what’s produced. These are part of a narrative behind the design that becomes very very important.” – Professor Nick Dunn

Our first speaker at Modelmaking in the Digital Age was Professor Nick Dunn who currently works at ImaginationLancaster and was a former lecturer here at MSA. Professor Dunn opened the talks by explaining as he puts it ‘the archaeology of application’ of architectural models.

For those unsure about the origins and development of architectural models as tools Professor Dunn provides a fascinating insight here.

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Modelmaking in the Digital Age Symposium Videos: Introduction from Dr Raymond Lucas

“Modelmaking is one of these core activities within architecture and it’s something that we often take for granted. It’s a key way of us actually exploring what it means for us to produce architecture” – Dr Raymond Lucas

On March 9th we hosted a day long symposium on the theme of Modelmaking within architecture and how its role has changed from the different perspectives in which it takes place. The presentations and debates from the day were recorded in full and we are pleased to able to present them here to all who were unable to attend or have an interest in the field.

The event was chaired by Head of Architecture at the University of Manchester Dr. Raymond Lucas who, in our first video explains the key areas in question.

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Mecanoo B.15 Modelmaking Awards

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After many months of hard work from everyone at MSA the end of year show was officially opened at a private view event on Friday. We were pleased to include a new award recognising the use of modelmaking in students coursework.

Judging took place during Friday afternoon where we were joined by representatives from Mecanoo, Professor Tom Jefferies, Dr Ray Lucas to mark the short-listed work in person. From the outset it was clear this was going to be a difficult competition to win due to the high quality of the featured work.

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Spending time to look at each piece in detail, the judges marked out of 50 based on our criteria.

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The total scores caused a heated debate about the winners resulting in the decision to restructure our prizes from one to three winners for BA (Hons) as final scoring was so close.

Ernst ter Horst and Patrick Arends from Mecanoo noted that they were “inspired by the exceptional level of quality throughout and it’s important to stress these winners were all on a knife edge with scoring

The winner of the MArch prize was of “outstanding quality and creativity delivering a fascinating model of beguiling interest!” 

Winners were:

Overall BA (Hons) Winner – Paul Thornber


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Highly Commended BA (Hons) 2nd Place – Sara Hammond

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Highly Commended BA (Hons) 3rd Place – Thomas Smith

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Winner of the MArch Prize - Hajir Alttahir

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Individual descriptions of the winning projects written by the students can be found in the complete short list document available to view here.

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We are thrilled with the response this award has had and are confident we can continue to recognise the great modelmaking work of our students with this as an annual award. As stated by Mecanoo we would like to repeat how close the scoring for this was and that every project picked was done so because of great quality and individual attitude to making which was believed to be fantastic so well done to everyone this year!

Good luck in your future careers!

Scott and Jim at B.15

Thank you to all who took part and supported Modelmaking in the Digital Age

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Just a quick message to everyone who came to speak and helped us make yesterday’s symposium event possible. We thoroughly enjoyed the day and everyone was extremely positive about our approach to modelmaking and it’s future in architecture.

In all we had 90+ registered guests from a variety of backgrounds all with a shared interest of the subject. Thank you for all your support, it means a lot.

The event was full of interesting presentations and discussions that we are hopeful will lead to further expansion and future events orientated around the subject of how we use models in architecture.

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Syposium Pics (8)

We will be uploading footage of the event for those who missed it in the coming months so stay tuned for those.

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Many thanks to all again – we can’t thank you enough!

Scott and Jim