Perhaps the most familiar type of architectural model,due to its frequency in the public eye, is the presentationor exhibition model that typically describes a wholebuilding or project design and signifies a point inthe design process at which the designer is ready tocommunicate the proposal to external audiences such asclients and public. This type of model often has a majorrole in the communication of a design proposal, as it isoften the one subject to most scrutiny. Such a model mayalso act as a ‘talisman’ for the project owing to the use ofits image in the press, on websites, etc. Why should thisbe? A presentation model provides a clear and coherentdescription of a design, and functions as a representationof the building on that building’s own three-dimensionaland formal terms. However, no matter how precisethis type of model may be it still provides criticaldistance by virtue of its scale and thereby maintains adegree of abstraction. The presentation model affordscommunication and understanding rather than any realknowledge of the thing itself, i.e. the completed building.

In some instances, models may be built specificallyfor an exhibition. This is particularly common for examples of historical architecture, for which no modelmay actually exist or for which an extant historicalmodel may be badly damaged. It also enables theexhibition designer to liaise with the modelmaker and,where relevant, use such models as key elements ofthe overall exhibition’s composition. The presentationof this type of model, whether to a private or publicaudience, may present opportunities and constraintsdepending on what needs to be communicated. This typeof model is usually the one that most readily engagesthe skills and experience of professional modelmakers.That is not to suggest that the design is complete andthe model is simply ‘made’. By contrast, considerableskill and creativity is required, typically through closecollaboration with the designer, to ensure that themost important aspects and qualities of the design arepromoted in the model legibly. Therefore, given theamount of specialist knowledge required to producesuch models to a high standard, many professionalarchitectural modelmakers often have a background inarchitecture education or at least a very comprehensiveunderstanding of it.