Architecture is more than just buildings. Its associated production and reception processes take place through a variety of different media. Among those media, the model is of special significance: because architecture, like almost every science or art, works with models as representationally or theoretically simplified images mediating between the abstract and the reality. The properties that characterize models give them a special significance in architecture—both in the abstract, as well as in the concrete.
The model transmits a specific form of knowledge that can be replaced by no other medium. Furthermore, it also has the ability to make its anticipatory function visible not only in abstract, but also directly, “at a glance”. In the digital age, the architectural model has often been declared dead. While classical architectural drawing has gradually been dematerialized and displaced by digital media, digital and physical models continue to exist side by side. The physical architectural model even, in all the forms outlined here, has a unique advantage compared to virtual media in that all forms of abstraction are bound to material. This is why the model will remain indispensable for a long time yet.