“My final project is an interactive architectural model of Canary Wharf as it will be in 2020. The idea is that you have the ability to animate the model to show multiple messages in the same model.
It’s controlled through buttons that allow you to select different features of the model. For example, one shows you where shops are and one where offices are. The model allows you to understand how the area is going to look in the future. You would normally build four or five models to show you all that information. I’d never done any electronics before starting the course.
I worked on a live brief whilst studying on the course, to build a model of a radio telescope that is under construction at the moment. The client wanted an interactive model, so I had to learn electronics doing that. I’d never done anything like that at all before. So when it came to my final project, I had the time to do something I’m really passionate about and use the digital side of things.
This really is a physical/digital model hybrid. I thought ‘while I’m here, let’s do something really different.’ Meeting Norman Foster in my third year was amazing. He approached the university to commission a large scale replica of the Berlin Reichstag dome that he designed, but he also wanted small replicas of sketch models that he had made in the 1960s, in his early career.
So myself and two others made a replica of one of his early models and it was quite a challenge because as a modelmaker you’re used to making very precise neat finishings, whereas we were trying to copy all the mistakes in the model – because it was a sketch model. It was quite difficult working on this at the same time as working on my Lightform model.
I’m a mature student and when I left school at 18, I was originally going to study Architecture but I wasn’t well at the time. My inspiration then was Lord Foster. To be making architectural models for his foundation years later was just amazing. For him to come and view the models and to get the chance to talk to him was fantastic. It was definitely a highlight of my degree.
Looking ahead, I’m interested in a mix of things. I’ve done quite a lot of teaching with both children and degree students, which I hadn’t really expected to do while I was at AUB. I’d like to do a mix of teaching and modelmaking in the future.
My experience at AUB has been amazing. I’d done a couple of Short Courses years ago and you go around and see all the degree work and you think ‘it would be amazing to be able to do that every day and so to have done it is just fantastic. I’m ready to go, I’ve learned everything I need to know and I’m ready to go and do something new, but I wish I could do the whole thing all over again.”