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Hintergrund 40

Welt im Modell

The "world in a model" - this can mean a world on a reduced scale, or it can refer to a model that holds an entire world within itself in mysterious multiformity. The latter certainly includes the "Club", which keeps our perception in check with various jumps in scale and mixtures between real and fictional spaces. Nicola Hirner has written an article about the model photo that Vienna-based artist Lois Renner informally provided us with for the cover of this issue, in which she traces the artist's "imagined spaces and telegenic gestures."



In architecture, model making is no less complex, but here it is often a matter of optimizing a work process or communicating as unambiguously as possible between architect and client or user. A better overview, easier comprehensibility and readability are therefore qualities that are in demand in the three-dimensional reproduction of a project, whether in the more or less raw working model or in the refined presentation model of a conceptually completed design. In his contribution, Christian Kern, professor at the Vienna University of Technology’s Institute of Artistic Design, provides insight into the various model-making techniques used in today’s architectural practice. A series of student designs illustrates the manifold possibilities of approaching a model that also functions as a prototype of a piece of seating furniture.

In conversation with Franz Hnizdo, who has taught model making at the University of Applied Arts since 1985 and specializes in reconstruction models of historical buildings, it becomes clear that model making has validity both as a research discipline and as an artistic activity.

Since scale issues play an important role in architecture as well as in model making, we have dedicated a separate article to the special case of 1:1 scale based on a legendary case study. In 1968, Karl Schwanzer had a functional model of a floor segment of the BWM high-rise built on a scale of 1:1 at the Bavaria Film Studios at his own expense in order to convince the still hesitant board of directors of his project idea. Laurids Ortner, who worked in Schwanzer’s office at the time of the BMW competition, recalls this extraordinary act of persuasion in an interview.

In order to illustrate the importance of model making in all its “richness of species” as practically as possible, we launched a small model survey among Austrian architects, the refreshing results of which you can also read in the theme section of this issue.