Modelmaking in the Digital Age Symposium Videos: Professor Nick Dunn

Nick Dunn Slide 2

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


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.


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.


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

Scott and Jim

Modelmaking in the Digital Age Symposium Running Order

We are happy to announce the following guide to our Symposium ‘Modelmaking in the Digital Age‘ taking place this Monday 9th March.

These time serve as a guide and we will endeavour to stick to them but expect some under and overrun due to the amount of material we are trying to fit into the day.

Registration is now for the symposium is now closed.

09.00 Tea and Coffee available in the foyer
9.30 Chair Dr Ray Lucas Intro
9.45-10.30 Nick Dunn
10.30-11.15 Ken Grix
11.15-12.00 James Smith
12.00 Morning Summary and open Q+A
12.30 – 13.45 Lunch break / Exhibition and Workshop open to visitors
13.45 Welcome Back
14.00 – 14.45 Milena Stavric 
14.45 – 15.30 Foster and Partners
15.30- Closing Address and Q+A
Vacate Theatre by 16.00
Look forward to seeing you all on Monday!
Scott and Jim

‘Modelmaking in the Digital Age’ Symposium, 9th March 2015

B.15:45 Presents….

Symposium Landscape Poster V2.1 copy

As part of our continued look at the role of Modelmaking in Architecture we are very pleased to announce our upcoming symposium event: Modelmaking in the Digital Age

The day will comprise of a series of talks and discussions around the subject of modelmaking in architecture, in particular the impact the introduction of digital tools has had on the approach to making and learning with models.

Registration for the symposium has now closed.

Confirmed Speakers for the event are:

Ken Grix, Architect and Modelmaker at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Bath. Since 1999 Ken has been both the inspiration behind and creator of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios’ concept models, design process models and presentation models. He became a Partner of the company in 2012, and the following year he achieved the great honour of winning the Lend Lease/AJ Grand Award for Architecture at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2013 for his concrete concept models of the Festival Wing, Southbank.

Dr. Milena Stavric, studied Architecture at the University of Belgrade where she also received her PhD. Since 2004 she has worked at the Graz University of Technology, Austria. Author of Architectural Scale Models in the Digital Age: Design, Representation and Manufacture.

James Smith, Director and Head of Architectural Modelmaking at Amalgam Models, Bristol. James joined Amalgam in 2000 having gathered model making experience across the UK for several years, followed by 3 years based in  Barcelona where he managed many high profile architectural projects. James became a Director at Amalgam in 2008.

Professor Nick Dunn, Professor of Urban Design at Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts.Previously studied and taught at the Manchester School of Architecture, Author of the international best selling book, Architectural Modelmaking.


Gregor Anderson, Associate Partner at Foster + Partners and manager of the in-house Rapid Prototyping Facility. Gregor studied at the Royal College Of Art where he focused his research on all forms of digital manufacturing. On graduating, he was a key member in the development of Rapidform, the RCA’s in house additive manufacturing unit. In 2008 he moved to UCL to set up and run The Digital Manufacturing Centre in the Bartlett School of Architecture, before joining Foster + Partners in 2011.

Ed Bartlett

Ed Bartlett, Associate and Modelshop CAD Support Manager at Foster + Partners. Ed joined the practice in 2008 after graduating from the Arts University Bournemouth, where he studied Modelmaking for Design and Media, specialising in computer-aided design. He now heads up a team of CAD specialists within the practice, working on a wide variety of projects around the world.

rlucasThe event will be chaired by our own Dr Raymond Lucas. Dr Lucas has recently been appointed as Head of Architecture in Humanities at the University of Manchester and as such will have a close relationship with our workshop activities in future. His involvement teaching at MSA and research with the Manchester Architectural Research Centre (MARC) however has been ongoing for the last 4 years so Ray is well versed in the active role our cause plays for our students.

The event will be held on March 9th in the Cordingley Lecture Theatre here at the University of Manchester’s Humanities Bridgeford Street Building. Presentations will begin at 09.30am and will continue throughout the day with Q & A sessions and general discussions around the subject concluding no later than 16.00.

Further updates to the event will be posted here leading up to the event.

Tickets are no longer Available

Registration for the symposium is now closed.

For those who have registered We’ll see you on Monday!


B.15:45 Professor Nick Dunn Opening Speech 12th September 2014

As part of our opening night for B.15:45 Professor Nick Dunn kindly gave a short speech about the origins of modelmaking through to present day. For those who don’t know, Professor Dunn is a former student here at Manchester who then went on to teach at MSA and is the author of one of, if not the most successful architectural Modelmaking book to date, ‘Architectural Modelmaking’ which is now in it’s second edition.

His speech was filmed in it’s entirety and you can watch it below:

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B.15:45 Years of Architectural Modelmaking Documentary Video

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As part of our B.15:45 exhibition we have produced this documentary film exploring the constant but changing use of modelmaking within architectural education here at The Manchester School of Architecture within The University of Manchester.

The film interviews past and present academic, teaching and technical staff about their thoughts on modelmaking in architecture and how the tool continues to be used in design teaching today.

We hope this provides a good insight into Architectural modelmaking and helps to define its place in student studies here.

We would like to say many thanks again to all involved in the production of this film.

Scott and Jim

B.15:45 Private View Opening

DSC02980 DSC02972After just over a year in the making B.15:45 finally opened on with a private view event on Friday evening. The event was a fantastic success with many unexpected guests and familiar faces gathering to discuss the subject of Modelmaking in Architecture.

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An opening introduction speech was made by Professor Nick Dunn who gave a concise description of the history of modelmaking and overview of our goals with this exhibition which was well received by all.

Myself and Jim would like to thank everybody involved and all who made it to the opening to make it such a great success.

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The exhibition is now open to all 9.00-17.00 during term time for the next year. We will be hosting several events on alongside the exhibition and engaging with school and college groups which has already begun. Keep checking for updates regarding any public events as we want to keep all interested parties engaged in our continued work.

Many thanks again, Scott and Jim


B.15:45 EXHIBITION Opening September 12th 2014 and Running throughout 2015

At long last we are able to give some definite details of our upcoming retrospective exhibition. The exhibition will open on September 12th with a private view and will run throughout the remainder of 2014 and 2015.

B15 Poster INVITE

Over the last few weeks we have been compiling, repairing, cleaning and organising models in preparation for the exhibition. In addition to the display of a wide range of model types and styles the exhibition will feature a video overview from academic and technical staff that have worked in the school over the years giving their perspective on the use of models.



A Platform to Archive

Whilst this exhibition will present a range of making over the last 45 Years here in Manchester we would like to continue to expand our archive and record and even more in depth history of Modelmaking in Architecture. With this in mind we would like to encourage and welcome any further stories or media, physical or digital to keep expanding our heritage collections. If you have any stories, images or models from the history of the university as a whole please get in touch to help us expand our archive and heritage collection.

We look forward to seeing you at the opening!

Scott and Jim

Welcome back to ‘SEED’ and a new academic year!

As some of you may have noticed we have added an extra ‘E’ to our name due to the merge with the School of Education. Our full name is now the School of Environment, Education and Development or SEED.

Busy summer

Over the summer we have been busy co-writing a second edition to the highly acclaimed book ‘Architectural Modelmaking’ by Nick Dunn. We expect the book to be published sometime next year and should prove very useful for existing and new students of architecture. We’ll post more on this when we can!

This had kept us productive along with a materials re-stock and clear out in preparation for your return. We hope to stock some new acrylic thicknesses in the next few weeks. Up to date materials price lists are now up in the workshop and can also be checked here on the blog.

Up-front payment for laser cutting

From now on we will only be allowing students to book laser cutting slots if they have paid. This change is being implemented to reduce the number of no-shows that occurs during busy periods which led to many hours cutting time being wasted last term.

New Full-Time Workshop Technician 

The workshop now has an additional member of staff as Scott Miller has now been made a full-time member of the technical team. Some of you may have met Scott last year when he worked with us on a casual basis. Scott is a very accomplished model maker and will be happy to help with any of your model making requirements.