DIGITAL MODELS OF BUILDING FORM
Authors: Radford, Antony
Some characteristics of digital 3D models of building form are discussed. There are aspects
of materiality and location-in-context in making digital models that are more developed than in
conventional physical models. Site, light and shade, texture and pattern, and colour and
translucency can all be expressed more convincingly than in physical models. This leads to
the emergence of symbol systems that map differently on to the building being modelled.
There are also fundamental differences in the way digital and physical models are presented
and viewed. A physical model is available in its totality for the viewer to shift attention rapidly
from detail to whole. A digital model is typically represented in a narrative, where a story is
told by the model builder using images and animations, or as a space to be explored, where
the viewer builds up a mental picture of the modelled building through interactive manipulation
of the model.