Model and Design

Elective Class, HIL B61

The elective class Model and Design addresses architectural model-making through systematic experimentation. Students will learn to use models to gain knowledge by examining and critically reflecting on existing architecture. An in-depth exploration of different methodological approaches, techniques, and materials is promoted through this process.

Learning Goals

– The students will design models as tools for understanding complex questions by investigating an existing architectural project.
– The students will test materials, techniques, and construction principles for model-building by completing hands-on activities.
– The students will test and challenge model-building conventions by building examples.
– The students will review their work by creating annotated images and writing texts as part of their course documentation.


Models are answers to a question.  

Students formulate a research question for the course that they investigate through tests and a model of a built architectural project during the semester. 
The individual tests, material samples, and fabrication techniques are continuously questioned to make specific decisions related to the research goals. The students will derive the model type, scale, context, material, and level of detail from their findings – this will inform the further development of the research question. 
The model resulting from this process, the accompanying tests, and the project documentation provide insight into possible answers to the research question and allow the students to check the validity of their assumptions to inform their studies.


We expect you to have sound knowledge in building 3d models, creating plans, and basic materials for model making. Our class supports Rhino3D or Fusion360, but you are free to use tools you already know. In addition to the course taking place in person (4h), an independent processing time of 3-4h/week is needed to complete your project successfully.

Teaching Staff

Alessandro Tellini, Christian Egli, Henry Welch, Liliana Siewczyk



052-0535-00L Model & Design (HS) / 052-0536-00L Model & Design (FS)

Elective with practical exercises –  3 ETCS
The class is limited to 16 students

Thursday from 16-20:00, HIL B 61