Architectural Model As Machine / by Dustin Altschul

This book , in my opinion, serves best as a primer overview of the historical relationship of physical models and their servitude in constructing buildings. For me personally, I concluded most chapters with a feeling that I had only been presented with very basic general facts. So by no means should this book be viewed as a comprehensive overview of the history of models in architecture; which I guess I was hoping for. 

However, this book was a rewarding read because it rings home that there is a rather long lineage of models being used as tools, or as the tile suggests  "machines", in the architectural production process . While I do not believe physical model building has been completely eliminated in academia or professional practice, I do believe more often then not physical models are viewed solely as presentation devices. Perpetuating then a mental separation between the process of creating, and presenting a representational object that explains what has already been considered (the model). The danger of doing this is we loose the capability to leverage the value modeling adds to the architectural design process. 

What I also find interesting is the architectural profession seems to be returning to a model driven process. Although the models are now in a digital format, the process of generating drawings from a modeled object to inform the construction process is reemerging; think BIM. Where Architecture Model As Machine offers the most value is by leaving the reader with an understanding of how the model, or process of model making, has traditionally supported the activities of the architect. If we do not take time to understand the historical value of models, by studying how they have been previously utilized, in a sense we are reinventing the "wheel" as we plunge into a digital modeling mode of conceiving and constructing architecture.