A Future Of Architecture as Iterative Prototype

This study will explore the phenomenon of built- architecture as prototype.


Model making and small-scale prototyping are fundamental architectural skills exercised when exploring space and place making. The proposed research seeks to explore the actuality that this process often needs curatorship when entering architectural practice. Most forms of creative design can be considered to be iterative processes where subsequent products are typically an improved culmination of similar versions that preceded it. However, architecture differs from this model as it creates forms and spaces upon project inception. Thus, the proposed study will critically examine the phenomenon of built-architecture as prototype.

The proposed research sets out to examine the African architectural process to investigate methods for revising reduced-scale prototyping in practice. It will probe if and why model making should be utilised as an intrinsic method for exploring architectural form. Preliminary, research indicates that although several firms have well-established prototyping praxes, model-making is not well documented within practices on the continent. The proposed methodology will, therefore, employ qualitative interviews with key practitioners to capture unpublished information about their approaches to prototyping. These findings will be compared with international examples identified through a desktop study to highlight the unique context identifiers and challenges experienced in Africa.


A Future of Series Topic






Research Lead: Dr. Britt Bailey

Astrid Van Der Laan