Architectural Models in Context Research Network
An AHRC-funded research network hosted at the V&A from 2017 – 2019
A free exhibition and events programme celebrating architectural models
About the Project
Shaping Space is a free exhibition at the Building Centre opening in September 2021 and a programme of events for the general public, specialists, and schools. It spotlights the essential yet under-explored role that models play in shaping the spaces we live in.
Supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council through Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement, it builds on research carried out by the AHRC-funded Architectural Models Network (2017 – 19), set up to examine the role of architectural models as part of the creative process in historical and contemporary practice. The original Network was led by the V&A and core partners included the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Architectural Association (AA), Sir John Soane’s Museum, the Architekturmuseum (TU Munich), the MAP Laboratory (CNRS) and the Sorbonne.
The exhibition, events and schools programme together provide unique opportunities to engage with modelmaking and use, positioning models centre stage, telling their stories and exploring their role in enabling the understanding of architecture and its context. Shaping Space invites specialists, the general public and schools to examine the role of modelmaking in contemporary practice, between the physical and the digital, while exploring the historical dimension. The modelmaking practice is taken as a springboard for the use of design and making as a cross-curricular activity.
The free exhibition 'Shaping Space – Architectural Models Revealed', highlights the renaissance of making in the digital age, whilst exploring the rise of new technologies and themes central to current architectural practice, such as sustainability. The events programme explores current and future model making practices, including the use of models in film and in teaching. The schools programme (KS2-5) aims to develop students’ knowledge in several areas including representation and materiality in modelling, understanding city space, and problem solving through model making.
Simona Valeriani is Senior Tutor on the postgraduate programme in the History of Design run by the V&A and the Royal College of Art (RCA). She is a building archaeologist, historian of architecture and technology. Her research centres on Early Modern ... see more
Head of V&A/RCA History of Design until 2016, Marta Ajmar is Deputy Director of VARI, where she develops academic partnerships and programmes informed by innovative museum-based pedagogies. She has over twenty years’ experience of collections-based re ... see more
Vanessa Norwood is a curator, writer and editor and Creative Director of the Building Centre. She was co-curator of the British Pavilion Venice Takeaway at the 13th International Architecture Biennale and has led projects for clients including the Alb ... see more
Harriet Jennings is a public programme curator at the Building Centre. She is interested in connecting people with the ideas, materials and powers that shape their built environment. Harriet completed her MA in Architectural History at the Bartlett Sc ... see more
Mathilde Savary is a public programme curator at the Building Centre. Following her graduation in Biomedical Science from Imperial College London, Mathilde pursued her interest in the relationship between global health and the environment by volunteer ... see more