How I Developed Ergo Kiwi, an Ergonomic Craft Knife that Your Fingers Will Thank You For

09:30 - 19 January, 2016
© Christian Borger
© Christian Borger

If you've been through architecture school you're probably wary of craft knives, which can puncture the skin of an non-alert, caffeinated student at a fraction of a second's notice. Even if you manage to avoid the hospital, though, these scourges of the studio still know how to hurt you: their designs are the antithesis of ergonomics, making a marathon modeling session a mighty endurance battle against hand cramps and joint pain. Aiming for a more comfortable solution, architecture graduate Sean Riley developed the Ergo Kiwi, and today is launching a Kickstarter campaign to help bring the product to market.

In addition, Riley has also meticulously cataloged his design and production process. At ArchDaily, we thought it gave a fascinating insight into not only the design of Ergo Kiwi, the but the steps involved in developing and bringing to market a convincing product. As a result, we invited him to share his story.

Courtesy of Sean Riley © Christian Borger Courtesy of Sean Riley © Christian Borger +27

Pezo von Ellrichshausen's Model of 100 Circles Explores the Diversity of Repetition

16:00 - 15 November, 2015
Model for 'Infinite Motive'. Image Courtesy of Pezo von Ellrichshausen
Model for 'Infinite Motive'. Image Courtesy of Pezo von Ellrichshausen

Chilean art and architecture studio Pezo von Ellrichshausen’s “Finite Format” exhibition is currently on display at one of the most important cultural sites in the Czech Republic: The House of Art of Ceske Budějovice. Composed of more than 480 paintings (Finite Format) and six ink drawings (Infinite Motive), the installation aims to demonstrate the firm’s “underlying method to understand not only the artistic qualities in a work of architecture but also the architectonic attributes of a work of art,” according to the architects. 

In parallel, Pezo von Ellrichshausen also carried out a workshop with 14 architecture students from the Technical University of Liberec to conceptualize and construct a twelve-square-meter scale model for the "Infinite Motive" installation. Using the circle as the basic element, the architects reflect on how “architectonic intentions may be diluted by means of the repetition of a single figure with a diverse range of dimensions.”

FleaFolly's Grimm City: The Antidote to Disney

07:00 - 24 April, 2015

There are few mediums that the Grimm Brother's Fairy Tales haven't been adapted into. Bowdlerized stories and films for children have since given way to revisionist tales that embrace the gruesome coloring of the originals, but something about the Grimm Brothers' gothic folklore still holds sway over popular imagination around the world. No matter what kind of adaptation is created - musical, childlike or modernized - the essential Grimmness of the tales still glowers through. FleaFolly's Grimm City is just such a creation.

Model Image. Image © FleaFollyArchitects Model Image. Image © FleaFollyArchitects Model Image. Image © FleaFollyArchitects Model Image. Image © FleaFollyArchitects +9

A New, Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Blade Runner Model Shop

12:00 - 19 March, 2015
via Imgur
via Imgur

It's a well-known fact that architects, almost without exception, love the 1982 film Blade Runner. Architects also love scale models. So what could possibly be more exciting than seeing photos of the model shop of the film? Enter this Imgur album of 142 photos from behind the scenes, posted earlier this week by user minicity. After the break, check out our selection of images of the Tyrell Corporation's imposing pyramidal fortress, among other things, under construction.

via Imgur via Imgur via Imgur via Imgur +14

Tel Aviv Museum Of Art Examines The International Circulation Of Prefab Concrete Panels

05:00 - 23 February, 2015
© Elad Sarig
© Elad Sarig

Between 1945 and 1981 around 170 million prefabricated (prefab) residential units were constructed worldwide. Now, as part of a study undertaken by Pedro Alonso and Hugo Palmarola of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile between 2012 and 2014, an exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art features 28 large concrete panel systems from between 1931 and 1981. In so doing, it explores a transnational circulation of these objects of construction, "weaving them into a historical collage of ambitions and short-lived enthusiasm for utopian dreams."

This show, curated by Meira Yagid-Haimovici, is an attempt to reveal "how architecture and urbanism was charged with historical, social, and political narratives, and how the modernist vision promoted the fusion of aesthetics and politics." The models, which are being exhibited as part of the Production Routes exhibition, seek to highlight the richness embodied in 'generic' architecture through the lens of prefab construction methods.

Symposium: Model Making In The Digital Age

00:00 - 17 February, 2015
Courtesy of University of Manchester / SEED
Courtesy of University of Manchester / SEED

An upcoming conference at the University of Manchester will tackle the idea of Model Making In The Digital Age. Based on the premise that the world of architecture is dominated by digital tools today more than ever, from design and manufacturing to the ways in which we visualise complex spaces and structures physically and virtually, this symposium seeks to shed new light on the practice of model making and its uses.

Win Your Very Own Arckit, A Freeform Model Making System

01:00 - 26 June, 2014
Courtesy of Arckit
Courtesy of Arckit

Physical model making can be time intensive and expensive. However, thanks to the makers of Arckit, that has changed. Based on a panel by panel modular system and a standard 1.2 meter grid, the newly released Arckit provides an easy-to-use, flexible model building system that allows architects to quickly construct and modify a diverse range of scaled structures. Architect tested and approved, the kit is currently available for purchase in the EU, US, Amazon and now Barnes and Noble

To celebrate its success, the makers of Arckit have agreed to gift 5 ArchDaily readers their largest, most expensive set: Arckit 240, a 620+ piece kit valued at $399. For a chance to win, check out all four sets available on the Arckit website and enter the sweepstakes after the break. 

VIDEO: 3D Printing San Francisco's Future Skyline

00:00 - 13 June, 2014

The skyline of San Francisco is in the process of significant transformation. Projects such as OMA's 550-foot residential tower, as well as developments in the pipeline from Foster + Partners and Studio Gang, are sure to change the city dramatically - thankfully, the 3D printed model in this video is there to show exactly how. The 6x6 foot model shows 115 blocks of downtown San Francisco as it will appear in 2017, and was created by visualization company Steelblue and Autodesk. Claimed to be the largest 3D printed model of a city in the world, it can show much more than just how San Francisco's downtown will look: overlaid projections can show the status of each building, projected traffic patterns and more. Furthermore, each block is individually replaceable to keep the model up to date. Watch the video, and find out more about the model through this article from SFGate.

VIDEO: The Models of Richard Meier

00:00 - 11 June, 2014

Richard Meier’s Models on

Through the passage of time and technology, models remain integral in Richard Meier's office. No only are they tactile, visceral objects that represent space in way a computer simply cannot, but they also serve as "remembrances" for Meier (after all, the clients get to keep the buildings themselves). In the video above, NOWNESS gives us a sneak peek into Richard Meier's Model Museum at Mana Contemporary in New Jersey, where many of Meier's 300+ models now call home. Enjoy!

Could Virtual Cities Make Our Real Cities Smarter?

00:00 - 24 September, 2013
Seattle's citywide model. Image Courtesy of Autodesk
Seattle's citywide model. Image Courtesy of Autodesk

This article, by Klaus Philipsen, FAIA originally appeared on his blog Community Architect

As BIM (Building Information Modeling) slowly finds broader acceptance in the architecture and engineering of individual buildings, perhaps it is time to consider the next scale: the city. Just like virtual models help us design and understand buildings and embed information, virtual city simulations could have an application in real city planning, allowing us to go from “flat” GIS to three dimensional information modeling that includes terrain, infrastructure, buildings and public spaces. Could virtual cities be the answer to "smart cities"? Find out after the break.

ArchDaily App Guide: Sketchfab

00:00 - 8 July, 2013

ArchDaily’s Architecture App Guide will introduce you to web and mobile apps that can help you as an architect: productivity, inspiration, drafting, and more.

3D computer modeling has become a ubiquitous tool in architecture and design, but - even now - there’s no real solution to the problem of easily displaying or sharing models. An exciting new tool, however, might just change this. It’s called Sketchfab, and it displays 3D models natively in the browser - no plugins necessary, and no need to download to your desktop. A resource like this allows any viewer or reader to glimpse into the future of publishing and communicating architecture online.

Users sign up for Sketchfab and upload models directly in 27 native 3D formats (including .3ds, .stl, .kmz, .dwf, .lwo and others); these models can then be embedded anywhere. Not only will this allow architects to showcase finalized projects, but designs can be followed as they evolve and change. It will be particularly valuable in the remote review process that occurs between the architect and 3D visualizers. And Sketchfab’s platform has an integrated comment and like system to foster discussion and critique.

A Brief History of BIM

00:00 - 7 December, 2012

When Literature Turns Into Architecture...

00:00 - 7 August, 2012
Each element in this model represents a character in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, and the space between these elements represents the relationship between them. Model by writer Kanasu Nagathihalli and architecture student
Chelsea Hyduk. Image via The New York Times
Each element in this model represents a character in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, and the space between these elements represents the relationship between them. Model by writer Kanasu Nagathihalli and architecture student
Chelsea Hyduk. Image via The New York Times

"Great architects build structures that can make us feel enclosed, liberated or suspended. They lead us through space, make us slow down, speed up or stop to contemplate. Great writers, in devising their literary structures, do exactly the same." A recent post by Matteo Pericoli of The New York Times describes what happens when writers, students in Pericoli's creative writing course, team up with architects in order to "physically build the architecture of a text." The resulting models are physical representations of the emotions, relationships, and narrative-styles of stories by authors as varied as David Foster Wallace, Ayn Rand, and Virginia Woolf. Check out all the models, and their accompanying descriptions, at the NYT.