Model Based Drafting

Year: 2017 – 2020
Research team: Wolfgang List
Research facility: Institut of Design and Construction Principles at Graz University of Technology
Research type: Research on Design
Research output: Dissertation

Drafting and designing in architecture involve an iterative process of testing and comparing architectural thoughts and ideas. The goal of this iterative process is to find the best of several possible solutions, at each stage of the design process. To bring these architectural thoughts and ideas to reality designers need tools. Tools for discussing ideas and writing, sketching, plan drawing and model making for explaining, documenting and testing thoughts. But do the users of these tools, the designers, really know how these tools work or do the designers use these tools only out of habit? Some tools are already known for how they transport ideas, other tools are used out of behaviour without understanding their deeper impact on transporting thoughts and generating new ideas.

A typical tool for testing and comparing the different solutions is still the handmade study model. Increasingly, these analogue models, are being replaced by computer generated architecture models. In a time of computer aided design and computer generated 3D models the question can be raised of whether analogue models are still needed. The basic question arises of whether there is a difference between physical models and computer generated models, in terms of what one can learn from them, and if so, what these differences are and what are the characteristic elements of analogue models? Can these analogue models be used in different ways to generate a multitude of diverse knowledge in architecture practice and architecture education?