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Exhibition Explores How Models Made People Gaga For Modern Architecture

There’s something delightful and intriguing about buildings (and neighborhoods, and even entire imaginary worlds) rendered in miniature. Once we can physically handle the models, we feel we can grasp the concepts behind them. An exhibition at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) examines our fascination with architectural models and how photography fed our demand.

Model-making came back into vogue in the 1920s following a period of decline sparked by the Beaux-Arts crowd, who preferred drawing. But under the Modernists, modeling once again became an important tool in both education and practice. According to the CCA, “Its re-emergence, as well as the increasing use of photography as a documentary medium, is associated with the modernist turn towards objectivity, the search for ways to communicate ideas in three dimensions and the possibility for examining a project with the client ‘in the round.'” From 1920 to 1960, the new visual expression also became an effective way for the international architectural movement to spread its vision to the masses.

Curated by Davide Deriu, Modernism in Miniature: Points of View comprises nearly 50 objects from the CCA Collection and archives and includes photographs by Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Carlo Mollino, J. J. P. Oud, Oscar Niemeyer, and Lásló Moholy-Nagy, as well as images from such design schools as the Bauhaus and the Vkhutemas.

The exhibition is on display until January 8. More information here.

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