chapter  1
38 Pages

Define/Divine/Design

This chapter proposes that traditionally architectural scale models were not only used for designing buildings but also served, with varying influence, as a means of defining a culture’s universe. This chapter is not a history; rather it is a chronological series of theoretical descriptions concerning different aspects of the scale model. For example, it is generally accepted that ancient Egyptian culture believed that scale models could be used to magically control nature. Classical Greek models

can be seen as greatly influenced by traditions, with seemingly forgotten origins, creating a progression of simulacra which continues today. The Roman architect Vitruvius connected the concept of scale models with machinery. The section on the Middle Ages introduces the concept of the architect as a mechanic whose scale models maintained the church’s already well-defined universe. The writings of the Renaissance architect Alberti describe the renewed influence of scale models in defining overall concepts of society. Finally, the Temple of Jerusalem is employed to demonstrate the traditional usage of scale models as divining mechanisms for defining the divine through design. This represents what occurred when an anger’s templum in the sky became a built temple. The templum served the anger as a template, a pattern or guide, for the future temple. In this way a model is a template (Figures 1.2-1.4).