Small Worlds: Models in Design, Art and Architecture Education

Small Worlds is a teaching and learning project that builds on the research for the exhibition A Working Model of the World.

The project is a collaboration between UNSW Art and Design, UNSW Faculty of Built Environment and Parsons, The New School, Sydney. Co-led with Dr Ainslie Murray (UNSW FBE) and co-developed with Associate Prof. Simone Douglas (Parsons, The New School), and funded by a UNSW Scientia Education Grant.

In art, architecture and design models – including prototypes, maquetttes, process models and simulations – are crucial to the way we teach and learn. Models help us investigate concepts, share ideas and discover new ways of working. As a common tool across the diverse fields of material thinking, models prompt cross-disciplinary conversations and exchange of knowledge.

The rapid growth of virtual and data based models, as well as 3D printing and other automated modelling technologies is significantly impacting on teaching and learning in art, architecture and design. New interdisciplinary thinking about the role of model making – as a conceptual and skillful activity for students – is needed.

Small worlds is developing international peer-to-peer studios (in 2018) and building an online resource to support innovative teaching and learning practices in art, architecture and design (launching 2019).