The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 90 (2012) > Issues > Issue 9 > A case for physical models
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A case for physical models

This paper discusses the relevance of physical models in the contemporary design of building structures. It starts with a brief overview of the use of physical models in the last 100 years, followed by a description of some recent projects where physical scale modelling played an active role in the design development. The examples are used to illustrate various categories of physical models: namely conceptual models; form-fi nding models and experimental scale models, and to analyse the limitations of physical models in contrast to digital tools. Ultimately, physical models are presented as a tool to be used in conjunction with and alongside the computer.

Author(s): D. Azagra and T. Hay

Keywords: models, buildings, design, HISTORY, 20th century, thin shells, concrete, folkestone academy, folkestone, kent, gridshells, weald and downland open air museum, chichester, west sussex