Evaluation of material surfaces and other building elementsis not an activity exclusive to architects. The innovativemodelmaker may wish to explore properties of variouscomponents for consideration to be included as a feature in adesign, which may strengthen or relate to the original concept.In this example, an investigation into the suitability of a textured component for use as a cladding panel is explored through astraightforward process of modelmaking. The tactile nature ofthe test component enables a designer to get, literally, a ‘feel’for materials. Depending on their intended use within a design,elements such as these can be photographed and applied at arange of scales offering further design possibilities.

1.The size of the test component is marked outonto a piece of board.

2.Double-sided adhesive tape is then applied instrips across the marked-out area.

3.A material – in this instance, thick string – islaid out across the adhesive tape in the desiredconfiguration.

4.More material is taped in a vertical fashionacross the first layer of string. This will form arelief pattern in the model panel.

5.PVA glue is applied in a thin layer across thearea in order to prevent the material sticking tothe plaster as it dries out.

6.A wooden frame is placed over the texturedarea, and all edges are sealed to prevent liquidplaster leaking out.

7.Liquid plaster is then poured into the frame andallowed to dry out completely, in accordancewith manufacturer’s instructions.

8.The frame is then unclamped and removed.

9.The textured layer is then carefully peeled awayfrom the plaster.