When Models Die

To architects models are important. Initially, we rummage around all the Blicks and Home Depots that Cambridge has to offer, and eventually we sequester ourselves around the studio, whether it be at our desk, a newly claimed work table, or even the nearest right-of-way for our fellow studio mates. Soon after, we begin to pour our little and passionate hearts our lasercutting, drilling, sanding, [you name it]. Our models, often, are stained with our sweat blood and tears. If we are lucky, this is only in a metaphorical way.

Just hours before a review, these are the objects of our obsession. A missing or lost lasercut piece could be detrimental not only for our model’s sake, but also seemingly to our sole existence. A wrong cut, a bad cast, or a surprising break could set our lives into a downward spiral! And many of these last moments of creating before reviews are filled with “Oh my God!” or the ever so more dramatic “f*ck!” We architects are dramatic about our models- they are our “babies”… or so it would seem. After all, they keep us awake for nights on end.

What perplexes me is what happens when these beloved artifacts die, when they are destroyed, dismantled and carelessly thrown into a pile, with the hope that you will never have to deal with it again. Not even to be properly disposed of.

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[photo curtesy of Alexis Sablone]

The following were being held for NAAB, but were destroyed during a tragic leak at MIT.

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So, wherein lies the difference between love and indifference? I believe it lies a few minutes after final review.

Coming from a school were only the most precious basswood models were acceptable [no burn marks please!] I would be the last to suggest we stop pouring over our models, but I would urge us to keep these images in mind when we make that wrong cut and feel our lives are coming to an end. I’d like to let you know: it’s going to be alright.

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