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on 29 April 2011
There seems to be 3 types of modelmaking book out there:

Firstly there's the technical or technique-focussed book (Criss B. Mills' book is a good example of this). These books cover every eventually. There's a list of all the tools that you might require and how to use them. A list of the different materials and what they're best used for. There's tutorials on 'how to make this exact model'. These books can be a bit too exhaustive and potentially patronising at times, they seem to be best suited as a reference book for a professional modelmaker who needs to get everything spot on, every time.

Then there's the coffee table books, with a focus on the polished and sexy presentation models that you would see at a public exhibition. They make great browsing, but they won't make you a better modelmaker.

This book, however, adresses a more resourceful reader, it equips you with the language and the concepts. It introduces the techniques. It then goes on to show you what is possible through student's and practitioner's examples but it ultimately leaves it up to you to experiment. This is very analogous to architectural study at university- they give you the bricks, but you have to build the wall.
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on 13 October 2013
While some reviewers appear to be past or present architecture students, I read this book from the perspective of an interested dilettante. I found it quite stimulating, but was left wondering about how useful it might be for a practitioner.

Books with photos of finished works of architecture tend to draw one's attention to façades. Because it is easier to visualize the relations of internal spaces through models, some of the photos in this book helped me to start thinking more about the internal volumes of the buildings I pass daily in the city where I live. Nice examples of this were a model for an art gallery consisting of Perspex solids hung from a wire frame (@96), and the model for the Casa da Música in Porto from Rem Koolhaas's studio (@112-113). As the latter example suggests, the author got the cooperation of some world-reknowned firms to provide illustrations. Yet another nice feature was the book's own build from materials to types of models to applications (presentation/description, quantitative prediction, qualitative evaluation, and sheer exploration).

Other aspects of the book, though, were quite puzzling. For example, we are shown a tableau of over 40 design development models for the Phare Tower in Paris, white against a black background. How much time does this represent? All in a night's work? A month's? A year's? Two years'? The models are decontextualized from architects using them. The author often makes the vague assertion that a particular type of model is used to "investigate" something or other, but we never get a feeling for this investigation or its duration. Is it like playing, is it something more rational, etc. -- this human element is missing. Some models, especially those concerning circulation, hardly look like architecture at all; it would have been nice to have had more explanation of how to read them. Some projects, such as Bernard Khoury's "Evolving Scars" described at 178-179 using the architect's own highly metaphorical prose, were entirely unintelligible to me, especially since the model itself was already a very metaphorical illustration of the process Khoury intended for the project.

A fuller portrayal of the actual use of models through the life of, say, one project of designing and realizing a building would have been a very beneficial addition. I'd hope this could include photos showing architects interacting with the models, not simply the usual "model as objet" portrayal we get here. The economics of models is another important missing topic. E.g., do most firms outsource certain types of model (and which ones), or do some have their own in-house shops? How much time and expense does it typically take to make a presentation model? Somewhat more information about the history of model-making, to which just a few pages are devoted, might also have aided the understanding of how to use models: when did architects start working from large numbers of highly abstract models, when and why did "circulation" models first come into use, etc. Even a few paragraphs of historical background in each chapter would be beneficial -- no need to turn the book into an historical treatise. On the other hand, some information that the author did choose to include left me wondering about the level of the intended reader. E.g., need anyone past the age of six be told that aluminium is light silver in colour (@78)?

If you're already getting enough context from your education to fill in the gaps in this book, perhaps my assessment will seem too pessimistic. To be fair about this, I deduct only one star. But even though I mostly enjoyed this richly-illustrated book, it sometimes felt a bit like drinking the cream and sugar without the coffee.
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on 1 December 2016
Fantastic. I've started a scale model of my own house which is now a 'dolls house' and have received a commission to do a model for a private party. Wow!
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on 25 May 2012
I bought this thinking it would enable me to get a holistic overview of model making .. in architecture.. It did but not more than that.. If you want to do more advanced model making i would not suggest this book... however saying this its pretty good describing in a really simply way types of materials and how best to use them. Really good for the basics but thats all..
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on 30 October 2013
I couldn't have recommended this book more, it basically covers every step for an amateur architecture modelmaker (like me!) to execute ideas and gradually transform them into solidified models (with clean cut and sharply made of course!)....totally a MUST GET for new architecture students!
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on 7 November 2015
Brought for my son who is studying archetiture said it was an amazing book highly recommend
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on 11 January 2017
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on 28 October 2016
Good book
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on 11 October 2016
great introduction
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on 7 November 2013
not as I expect from the title but it is ok.
I will try to buy another one as this is not an easy book
for student
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