Shaping Space – Architectural Models Revealed


A collaboration between the V&A and the Building Centre, Shaping Space – Architectural Models Revealed presents the world in miniature; a collection of historical and contemporary models that reveal the evolution of architecture from the first maquette made as a tool for thinking, to a presentation model – a scaled down replica of an architectural intention saying; ‘here I am’.


Shaping Space presents a collection of models responding to three questions: Why are models made? How are models made? And who are models made for?


Photograph by Francesco Russo


Architectural models are as old as architecture itself. The exhibition explores the history of models, and highlights the renaissance of craft and the values of making today, alongside the rise of new technologies that mark how the digital age is changing our experience of and access to architectural space.


Photograph by Francesco Russo


As children, we encounter scale with wooden blocks and plastic bricks so that we become the master planners of our own tiny cities. From super-sized to miniature, Shaping Space invites the public to experience the spectacle of environments at different scales. The show celebrates the act of thinking through making, presenting the evolution of ideas through models in architectural education and practice. The exhibition will examine how models are a testbed for material experimentation and will touch on themes and debates central to current architectural practice, such as sustainability.


Photograph by Francesco Russo


Curated by Vanessa Norwood, Harriet Jennings and Mathilde Savary at the Building Centre in partnership with Simona Valeriani of the V&A’s Research Institute (VARI), this collaborative exhibition is designed by award-winning practice Roz Barr Architects, with graphic design by Studio Mathias Clottu.