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Shaping Space - Architectural Models Revealed: Why are models made?


Shaping Space – Architectural Models Revealed was an exhibition and public programme at the Building Centre, in collaboration with the V&A, from 24 September 2021 until 5 March 2022.

The exhibition celebrated the role of architectural models in shaping the spaces we live in. A collaboration between the V&A and the Building Centre, Shaping Space – Architectural Models Revealed presented the world in miniature through a collection of historical and contemporary models revealing the evolution of architecture from the first maquette made as a tool for thinking, to a presentation model.

This short film is part of a series examining the three questions that informed the curation of the show:


  • Why are models made?
  • How are models made?
  • Who are models made for?


In this film co-curator Simona Valeriani of the V&A’s Research Institute (VARI) considers why models are made, featuring models by:


  • Aberrant Architecture
  • Tony Fretton Architects
  • Peter Davies
  • Lina Ghotmeh Architecture
  • Historic model of the Albert Hall
  • B.15 Workshop, Manchester University (S. Miller and S. Parker-Backhouse)
  • Stanton Williams
  • Charles Holland Architects
  • Alison and Peter Smithson
  • L’École Spéciale d'Architecture
  • ARU (Architectural Research Unit), led by Florian Beigel and Philip Cristou
  • Hawkins Brown Architects
  • Harvey Wiley Corbett, modelled by Theodore Conrad
  • Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine
  • GHA Group – Bloomsbury projection
  • Dieter Cöllen
  • Forensic Architecture
  • ScanLAB Projects
  • J I Wolfson


© Chris Jackson


This film is part of the Shaping Space - Architectural Models Revealed programme, led by the Building Centre and the Victoria & Albert Museum

Funded by the AHRC

Sponsored by Built Environment Trust, V&A, Manchester School of Architecture, B.15 Modelmaking Workshop

We would like to thank our supporters; Amalgam Modelmaking4D ModelshopB.15 WorkshopDrawing MatterGHA GroupThe University of ManchesterMAP Laboratory (CNRS), and Model Platform

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