All models, by the very nature of their existence, displaya degree of abstraction, as there would be very little point to a model if it represented reality in every aspect. Most importantly, this level of abstraction should be consistentas it would not make sense to model a building’s contextaccurately and then insert a very loosely defined andhighly abstract model of the design proposal in mostsituations. In essence, abstraction means taking away anyunnecessary components or detail that will not aid theunderstanding of the design being communicated. There are no hard-and-fast rules regarding this process, and itis a skill that will develop through experience of makingmodels, but usually the more accurate and detailed amodel is the further the project is along the design-processroute. This is because it would not make sense to usevaluable time and resources making precise representationsof initial ideas that may subsequently be very susceptibleto lots of changes. As a general rule the only constraintsare what is technically possible within the time limits in which to make the model. For example, if an aperture suchas a window is too small to be made it should be left out.The greater the level of detail and communicationof materials in a model, the more accurate impressionpeople viewing it will have of the final design intentions,and, as a result, the majority of presentation models made by architects and students alike are done at a stageat which a considerable amount of the design decisionshave been consolidated. The more abstract a model is, themore it conveys conceptual ideas and thereby allows thedesigner’s imagination to flow and various interpretationsof the design to be made. This is particularly useful in aneducational context, but can also assist at initial meetingswith clients and public bodies. Professional model shops sell a wide range of parts that can be incorporated intomodels – including figures, cars and trees – and these can help negotiate the scale difference between the modeland reality. Again, care should be taken not to overlydetail a model as such information can distract from thequalities of the design, and many designers often maketheir own versions of these elements in order to givethemselves more creative freedom. The scale of the modeltypically provides clues as to the appropriate level ofabstraction, and is a useful starting point.