Model makers from IADT Dun Laoghaire making 500 Arckit models in 7 weeks!

Seven model makers from IADT Dun Laoghaire in Ireland have been busy making 500 Arckit models in 7 weeks to primarily go into Barnes & Nobles stores across the US.

Qualified and current students at IADT Dun Laoghaire (Institute of Art, Design & Technology) in Dublin, Ireland were tasked with building 500 finished Arckit models in just 7 weeks – a project that would have been inconceivable by traditional ‘cut and glue’ methods. We decided to document the build process to explore just how quick and easy Arckit is as an architectural design tool and to hear feedback directly from ‘real model makers’.

These models are based roughly on a typical model achievable using an Arckit 120 kit, built by hand and then finished with our Arckitexture library of realistic building patterns. This is a fascinating insight into just how precise, affordable and fast Arckit is as a professional design tool – and 500 models in 7 weeks was a serious commitment!

Fancy trying out Arckit and making your own models? Take a look at our popular starter set Arckit GO priced at just £49.99 and help us spread the word!

Interview With Arckit Model Makers

After finishing the huge challenge of making 500 identical Arckit models in just 7 weeks, we interviewed four of the model makers (Daina Bluzmane, Conor Rock, Holly Hallahan, and Patrick Saloranta) about their experience of using Arckit for the first time.

What do you think of Arckit as a new way of model making?

Daina: I think Arckit is going to be huge in architectural companies, especially when designing private homes. The main reason is that clients are visual and this way they will be able to see the home and understand better what they are going to build. If there are any changes that the client wants to make they can be made there and then, as there are no adhesives involved.

Conor: Arckit could be very big and used a lot for the simple reason that it’s easy to use and quick to put together. I would say, as a new way of making models, it could be very useful.

Holly: Arckit is a great new way of making professional architectural models. It will change the way architects communicate with clients. It is so quick and easy to put together, that it means an architect could sit down with their clients and build up the model of their ideas in front of them. This may also give the client a chance to get a bit more hands on with the design process by helping to tweak the model to help express their ideas to the architect.

Patrick: I believe Arckit will simplify the process of architectural model making. The idea that every piece is scaled down would give architects greater insight into the structure.

What benefits does Arckit offer to non-architects?

Daina: Architectural model makers could use Arckit to make a mock up model before buying in acrylic, that way making sure of not over buying and wasting resources. In schools it may come in handy in alternative learning of geometry and art. Some people are not very good at visualising 3D spaces, so it could be useful for that as well as helping with imagination.

Conor: Arckit could have a lot of benefits in schools. It could teach spatial awareness to young children and of course home builders building their own home could use it to try out loads of different alternatives for their new home. I think that Arckit outside of a professional capacity could work quite well I could even see it been used as a toy it has loads of potential.

Holly: It would great for homeowners who are wanting to build an extension, annex or people who are planning to build their own home in the future. 
Model makers could use Arckit to help develop an idea/design for a more permanent miniature set. It could also be used to get a better idea of space for event design. 
If it was introduced into schools at an early age it could be a great means to get children interested in architecture and design, while still holding an element of fun. It’s also something new and a bit of fun for hobbyists and miniature model makers. They can follow the instructions given or have fun coming up with their own model.

Patrick: Enthusiast model makers would benefit from greater accuracy when attempting to construct a scale model of their favourite building. Children could also benefit from the kit as they would be able to visually craft what they have imagined.

What would be the main benefits of using Arckit to teach STEM in schools?

Daina:Arckit is very handy to help people visualise the 3d aspect of things, which in return could help with math and the science behind engineering.

Conor: It could have great uses in STEM to show kids and students a different side to science, technology, engineering, and math.

Holly: It is a clean, sturdy and professional looking method for students to develop and construct their ideas, which does not require glue or any major tools or cutting machines. The cost would be reduced because they would not be required to constantly buy new materials and glue. Because the components are reusable students can use the same pieces throughout their entire learning experience. 
The reusable pieces allow students to play around with their ideas a lot more as they have the freedom to make alterations at any stage of a build. 
Because Arckit is quick and easy to use it frees up more time to work on more designs so students can get the most out of their education. Schools don’t have to worry about having special facilities to aid construction such as cutting tools. All they need is a computer with a printer for the texture stickers. It would be a great tool to teach spatial reasoning and how it and construction work together. It would teach students the process of coming up with a 2d design and translating it to a 3d model which is relevant for Engineering and hardware.

Patrick: Since Arckit is a scale representation, areas such as mathematics would benefit from a visual aid.

How does Arckit compare to traditional cut-and-glue-models or other architectural model sets you have used?

Daina:The most obvious difference is that there is no glue used in Arckit to make models. Another huge difference is that it lets you use your imagination as there are no limitations as to what you can make with a box of Arckit, whereas with most model sets you get in the hobby shops there is a fixed structure (i.e. a ship, building, car, etc.) and there are instructions included. This product in that sense is more advanced, as there are no instructions on how to build what you have imagined. Arckit is a totally freeform system and each component has many different uses.

Conor: I haven’t used many cut and glue model sets but generally you stick them together and that’s it, the parts can’t be used again. In comparison to traditional scaled architectural model making, again once you stick the various parts together they can’t be altered or modified as they can be with Arckit. Arckit is also a lot faster to put together.

Holly:Traditional cut and glue models are very restricting in that you have to be very careful because once you glue it together it is very difficult to change. It’s not something you can change your mind half way through. It can also be a lengthily process. However Arckit gives you the freedom to change your mind as the components can be built and rebuilt as often as you like. I find this gives you more room to be creative and adventurous. It allows you to try out ideas you may not have had time or the spare materials for if you were to go down the traditional cut and glue route. Arckit does not restrict your ever-changing creative flow, which in my opinion, traditional cut and glue models can do in some cases.

Patrick: Due to the pins in the end of the pieces combined with the notches, Arckit is much easier to put together rather than traditional cut and glue models. What cut and glue models lack is the reusability of Arckit pieces; once a structure is no longer needed the pieces can be simply removed from one another while with cut and glue this would have been impossible.

How easy is Arckit to use for beginners or non-architects?

Daina: Very easy. Just get stuck in there and you will have made a model at the end. Could be a house, a room, a tower, or a catwalk or whatever your imagination allows you to make.

Conor: Yes I think it is very easy for beginners or non-architects as it is very easy to understand and use once you spend enough time with it.

Holly: It is extremely easy. You don’t need any experience with scaled models or architecture. The pieces inter connect just like Lego, so even children can have fun with it.

Patrick: Relatively simple, similar to Lego. An individual with no prior experience in model making could easily construct a model house in a matter of minutes.

What did you like most about using Arckit?

Daina:The lack of mess. The fact that there is no use for glue or paints means that there will be no mess to clean up afterwards and for parents it means that they don’t have to protect all the surfaces while a child prodigy is having fun and learning at the same time.

Conor: I Loved seeing and being able to use all the different parts that Arckit has and seeing how you could use them all differently then you might think.

Holly: I really liked the number and variety of components and the different ways Arckit could be used. Because of this there is no limit to what you can do. It is a product that can only evolve and develop more in the future. I also really like that it has a digital element, so you can work out your ideas and number of pieces before you start. This reduces the chance of accidentally over or under buying components.

Patrick: The main attraction for me would have been how the pieces all fit nicely together.

Would you recommend Arckit to others? If so, why?

Daina: I have already been recommending it to others because it is a great product for businesses and hobbyists alike. The main reason I recommend it is that it’s so easy to use and takes no time at all to come up with new ideas for projects. It will also save money and time on expensive models for school projects and professional models.

Conor: Yes I would recommend it because I think Arckit is a very clever product and can be very fun to use. I would definitely use it again.

Holly: Yes, because anyone can use it. There’s no need for tools or glue. All you need is the components, a computer with a printer, a bit of imagination, and you’re good to go. You get great value for money, as it can be reused an endless amount of times and you can buy extra components separate from the kits if you need them. Because it can be reused it really inspires a person to be as creative as possible and constantly experiment and try out new things.

Patrick: Yes I would recommend Arckit. It is a versatile product which can benefit who are in the architectural business or people who simply enjoy model making as a hobby.