Are you a model? On an Architectural Medium of Spatial Exploration

International Conference, Technical University of Darmstadt, November 2—4, 2022


Are you a model? A questionable start to a conversation one might think, and yet, architecture does beg the question. What does it mean to call something a model? Which implications, projections or desires are called to the table? Architects do not build buildings, they draw plans, they model structures or produce objects; all practices with a longstanding tradition in architecture—be they analog or digital. As a discipline working with substitute media and through displaced methods, we might ask of objects indeed: Are you a model? More than a pickup line, we want to put the model front and center in an assessment of architectural thinking and doing. We aim to explore the role architectural models play in professional and societal processes, as referents not merely of scale or form, but of architectural knowledge.

In nine moderated sessions and two keynotes over the course of three days, we will investigate together how architectural models are constructed or destroyed, how they operate, what they promise––and if that promise holds––, and which kinds of knowledge they produce. We hope to uncover new approaches and diverse takes on the model as both instrument and phenomenon in architecture and its history.

Keynote by Annabel Wharton and roundtable with Thomas Demand, Annabel Wharton, and Anna-Maria Meister (digital)


  • Institute for Architecture Theory and Science (ATW), Technical University of Darmstadt
  • Building History, Research and Preservation, Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts
  • LOEWE cluster of excellence “Architectures of Order”
  • Platform for digital science and research FID BAUdigital
  • Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt am Main (DAM)
  • Center for Critical Studies in Architecture (CCSA)

Further information and program

Architekten- und Stadtplanerkammer Hessen (AHK) accredited professional training

An event in the spirit of the xchange strategy of the TU Darmstadt