Served with a side of creativity

The Model Making course at The Arts University of Bournemouth provides many sectors of the Industry with talented artists and makers every year. 3rd year students display their work at London New Blades before graduating, which allows the public and experts to enjoy and evaluate the work on display.

New Blades Show

New Blades show. Photography by Will Strange

The exhibition is only a small insight into what occurs on the course. Throughout the three years of study, students explore different aspects of model making through briefed units. One unit in particular is, “Architectural Representation”, with the introduction to laser cutting.

Representing an idea

From the outset, it is clear that the project focuses on representing an idea, rather than simply replicating it. This not only allows the students to become original and expressive in their approach to making, but also allows a greater emphasis on the technical; which materials work together and, how elements can be implemented. It encourages students to pursue a more innovative approach to architectural model making.

First Year Building

First year building by students

Second Year Building

Second year building by students

Above are two examples of architectural models from the Model Making course. The first is a simple building which first year students are introduced to, in order to understand technical drawings and the basics of creating an architectural model. The model on the right is a 2nd year ‘architectural representation model’ and is a good example of the unit’s concept . The students have clearly thought about the relationship between the organic shape of the building and it’s surroundings, with the use of natural materials (timber), in order to blend the whole model together. The organic shape of the baseboard also contributes directly to the unusual shape of the building. The model suggests that the students have recognized a deeper understanding of making, rather than simply replicating an exact copy from technical drawings.


Maggies Model One

Maggie's Centre model. Photography by Beth Mills and Kirsty Obbard

Maggies Model Two

Maggie's Centre model. Photography by Tom Taylor

Here are two contrasting interpretations of the same building both of which were made within the Architectural Representation unit. The model on the left (by Beth Mills and Kirsty Obbard) uses an artistic approach to architectural model making. The building itself is made predominantly from timber and perspex; nothing unusual with the use of materials; but the clear perspex baseboard, with laser etched leaves, shows an intelligent understanding of the building’s surroundings. Beth and Kirsty have clearly thought about the relationship between the building and its context. The choice of materials and artistic display of trees, softens the overall model and allows the viewer to intuit a deeper understanding of the building.

The model on the right (Tom Taylor, Tom Winder and Will Murray) offers a more opposing interpretation. The material choice of steel, allows a more distinct actuality to the building. Physical trees allow more spatial awareness and presents an immediate understanding to the context of the building. The baseboard has been made in a ‘typical’ and more obvious way with laser cut contoured levels.

The two different models shows that making can be a very individual process. The very core of what the unit is all about.

Laser cutting

For the initial stage of the unit, students must make laser cut abstracted objects. This allows them to have fun with the laser cutter and to focus on making.

Each year, Lecturer and designer/maker, Will Strange imagines ingenious and creative projects for the students to prove their originality and vision through the laser cutting process. Although the subject revolves around food, it does not disconnect from the architectural unit. There is a clear resemblance between the objects and a “typical” architectural model as you can see below. Also, not forgetting that skills are transferable and understanding the process of making is a huge benefit.

Architecture Food One

Architecture food. Photography by Will Strange.

Architecture Food Two

Architecture food. Photography by Will Strange.

The menu (below) is presented to the students and they must create a dish based on the description given.

The Menu

Menu served by Will Strange.

Below is the Salmon Roulade. Polished perspex blocks accompany the laser cut elements.

Salmon Roulade

Salmon Roulade created by students. Photography by Will Strange.

Below is the prawn kebab: Laser cut orange and clear perspex served on a bed of wood grain. The orange slice (below right) is from a previous year within the 'Architectural Representation' unit. It was created as part of a selection of chocolates. It clearly resembles an architectural tower, both aesthetically, and the way the perspex is "stacked" imitating floor plates.

Prawn Kebab

Prawn kebab and orange slice created by students. Photography by Will Strange.

The unit seems to get more elaborate each and every year. What started out initially as creating architectural towers, has developed into a more abstract approach to the unit. As well as towers, previous projects have also included chess pieces, and a box of chocolates, as seen below.

Chess Pieces

Chess pieces created by students. Photography by Will Strange.

Chocolate Box

Chocolate box created by students. Photography by Will Strange

For more information about the course check out Bmakers or why not head down to the annual New Blades show in London to talk to the students directly.

Posted on February 25, 2016, in Artists & Makers

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