Thursday, May 14, 2009

Models, Now and Then

Spotted on Places and Spaces, this 'lifelike' 3-D model of Portland posted in Digital Urban offers a glimpse into the new wave of modeling, cobbled together from a variety of sources and punctuated by some visual fly-throughs that are quite stunning. This model was created by local firm Newlands & Company (aka NC3D), the cream of the crop in visualization.

This reminds me of the large scale model of the Central City of Portland, built in wood, that resides in one of the conference rooms of the Portland Building. There was a time when new development in the Central area was inserted into this model to discuss it's form and impact on the greater context... not sure if this is still the case - but the model is a unique throwback to another time. It'll be interesting to see if the new requirement will be to model and insert new forms into a digital analog of this old wooden version.

And of course, now that I'm thinking about it, I cannot find an image anywhere of the model. But a quick search reveals that there are still some stunning examples of the physical model - one of the most amazing is this scale model of Shanghai - yes, the entire City of Shanghai.

:: image via SkyscraperPage

Another I found features this scale model of central Tokyo...

:: image via onTokyo

The study model has also undergone a transformation from chipboard or museum board to sketchup - either in simple form or massing studies - a process that whichever way you want to do so - doesn't happen enough in our modern digital times:

:: Mixed Media Massing Model - image via Khang Design

:: Digital Massing Model - image via GeoPlace

Alas it is always a process of translation, and the results are really what matters... never know what you may end up with. :)

:: image via Peter Kuttner

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