Model Making as an Aid to Design

  • Monday, February 22, 2021
  • Wednesday, February 24, 2021
  • 2 sessions
  • Monday, February 22, 2021, 9:00 AM 12:00 PM (PST)
  • Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 9:00 AM 12:00 PM (PST)
  • BARN Small Classroom, Class Code: JE022221AV
  • 2


  • $130 + $20 materials fee
  • $100 + $20 materials fee


Have you ever built a project and then been disappointed by the design result? By making quick, easy scaled models first, you can play around with different design solutions and settle on one that incorporates your favorite elements — before you embark on building the full-size project in wood, metal or other materials. Scaled models are also useful for artists working on projects such as books with popup or fold-out elements.

Designing anything in three dimensions really benefits from using three-dimensional models. In this two-session class, you will learn how to build scaled physical models that are classic 3-D design aids. You'll be working mostly with paper, card stock and basswood, and you will be encouraged to modify your models as you experiment with design and technique.

This two session class covers:

  • tools and materials that professional modelmakers use.
  • how to choose the appropriate scale for your model, and why it's sometimes useful to scale up a model (if your ultimate project is small, such as a ring) as well as to scale down (if you are designing something big, such as a table).
  • tools useful for ensuring accurate models.
  • techniques for cutting, assembling and modifying accurate models.

At the first session, you will learn about the tools and materials and make a simple model of a project suggested by the instructor. At the second session, you will make models and experiment with design options for a project of your own choosing. The overriding principle is to have fun both in making models as well as discovering how to further refine your design.


  • Ages 14+ are welcome.
  • The materials fee includes the cost of an architect's scale, which you will be able to take home and use for future models.

Instructor: Alec Vassiliadis studied models from a very young age. He built  lots of scale models of planes, cars and boats, and painted, altered and sometimes destroyed them. "So, naturally, I gravitated to architectural school, where I excelled at building models," he said. After working as an architect for about a year, he gave up on paper as a medium of design and fell back into building models. It did not take long before he was turning his life passion into a profession. He has been building models for architects and industrial designers for the past 40 years.

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