Architectural History and Theory — Assignment 2B: Model/ Scale.

  • Technique: A cut out paper puzzle of the interiors of the city and an invisible architecture. ( Junya Ishigami)

Having the title of a young and promising Japanese architecture, Junya Ishigami is known for his recognisable “architecture as air” style. As if the model or architecture is invisible, unknown to the eyes of the viewers, they activate every natural senses that are hidden from everyday life through simple but effective ways of interacting, giving ú a new experience in space. His “air” has borders which is transparent yet thick and dense in layers of invisible walls of air. This has recreates new space for architect, new and refreshing field to work in. With nature occupies most of his inspiration sources, he blurs and erases the boundaries in life, exploring a field of infinite possibilities as same as nature have give us its beauty and bountiful resources to explore. On the other hand, his works have always have a touch of abtract poetry that made them have the a fundamental look whilst rich and complex in thoughts.

Figure 1: Junya Ishigami, ‘How small, how vast’ installation view at Antwerp’s deSingel, Photos by Stijn Bollaert.
Figure 2: Junya Ishigami, ‘Group home’. Photo by Maurizio Mucciola.

By imitating Ishigami’s design style, I apply the simplicity and air of Junya Ishigami into a small square scaled model that construes the spatial space near UTS and specifically the place near a bus stop that is near the crossing between 5 roads near Centre Station, which I have made the main object for the previous assignment 2A.

Figure 3: Final model design. Designed and photographed by Lillian Pham.

The model consists of many small wood models with paper as the roof and small figurines for recreating the daily activities of citizens around that area. My choice of material is important as they shows how it it related to Ishigami’s inspiration: nature. Wood and paper are not only easy to work with but they are everyday material that we are familiar. They are the same to each other in different forms but all represent the origin where they come from which is mother nature. The small building models are based on the map I observed from Google and also in real experiences. Their basic shapes remind us of the building that the people interact daily at the area like the “Group House” in ‘How small. How vast’ installation have suggested. I have cut out shapes followed by the base roof and spacing the models appropriately to their actual position, to recreate a familiar vast atmosphere and space itself near the Station.

Its a busy space with not many people noticing air that have made that space itself. Those negative space are the one that made space for others, in this case they are buildings. The white colour of these scaled building helps to show the air wall between them and there are no boundaries for the buidlings, only the base to hold on. It is the air inside them that give them a function that they are meant to be. This is a celebration of space and a new innotative way of seeing the world with no boundaries, open to opportunities.

Before polishing the final model, I have experimented different materials and organisation on 5 models below.

Figure 4: First iteration. Made and photo by Lillian Pham.

The first two ones are made with metal wires which is lean and thin which is a good option for representing the invisible walls around than wood sticks and paper for the building top shape.

Figure 5: Second iteration. Made and photo by Lillian Pham.

For the third attempt, I have add tiny black cut out figurines for daily habits, adding life to structures. The base for the first two is balsa wood for a natural look and gradually I change it to foam board for a more minimalist theme like Ishigami would do.

In figure 5, the draft model have the wire to guide us to the roads but I remove them in later models to make the space around the building to be the guider instead. The final model is a combination of the figurines and last design together showing the familiar air aspect.

Figure 6: Third iteration. Made and photo by Lillian Pham.
Figure 7: Fourth iteration. Made and photo by Lillian Pham.
Figure 8: Last model iteration. Made and photo by Lillian Pham.

References list

Angelique Campens, ‘Can architecture be invisible?’,

Maurizio Mucciola, ‘Junya Ishigami: spaces big and small’,

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