Interior architecture or design is widely recognized as adiscipline in its own right, and there are many publishedprecedents and much information available on thesubject.

Depending on the scale of the design proposal, itcan frequently be useful for architects to make modelsof interior space for both design development andcommunication purposes. Such models are solelyproduced to explore the internal characteristics ofspace(s); as such, they are not necessarily interested inthe overall design but focus on a particular part of itrather than the composite whole. As a result they maybe quite crudely finished externally, as it is their interiorqualities that are important. The need to investigate aspace in detail usually leads to these models being builtat 1:20, 1:10 or 1:5 scales. This type of model typicallyincorporates detailed components such as staircases,furniture and miniature people, but care must be takenas the level of detail and scale of the models can easilyresemble a doll’s house. This potential problem, as withother models, is reliant on the appropriate degree ofabstraction. In other types of models with less detail thisis usually easy to overcome, but in interior architecture models, where the intention is to provide an accurateand detailed simulation of the real internal environment,it is not so straightforward. Consequently, the level ofabstraction is reduced in this particular type of model; itsmain focus is to communicate materials and objects on asmall scale.

In this type of model, the most effective way ofrepresenting materials is to use the actual materialitself, but care should be exercised to ensure that suchapplication does not affect the illusion of scale. Whenmade with care and skill, it is possible to achieve superbeffects with interior architecture models. They can beselectively photographed, making it difficult for theviewer to discriminate between a modelled space and thereal situation. Interior architecture models can be wallmounted, permitting the viewer to look into, as opposedto onto, the contained space therein. The advantage ofthis technique is that it improves our perception of thespaces: the viewers feel as if they are really ‘there’.