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RCA, ADS4 2015-16: Supermodels

Royal College of Art, 2015-16
Nicola Koller & Tom Greenall


The world we live in is a model. Or, at the very least, is controlled by models – political models, economical models, mathematical models, theoretical models, business models. From early computer simulations performed as part of the Manhattan Project, to the significance of climate modelling for political processes, we are basing our decisions on a series of numerical models. As such, the world itself can be considered a sort of super model. It is neither ideal nor the best of all possible worlds, but it is as changeable as any model. This is a condition created by humans, but only partly controlled by them. As the real and the virtual, the seen and the unseen, begin to merge we must look frankly at the technologies that are transforming the concrete reality of social civilisation into abstractions – figures, algorithms, financial ferocity and the accumulation of nothing. Only through striving to understand and adapt the model can we be more than merely supporting actors playing out simulations of real life.


We will start the year with the idea of the ‘model’: the conceptual bridge between the virtual and the real. We will investigate what models mean for architecture and urbanism, their present use and their future consequence. The model will be considered as both subject and object, as noun, verb and adjective (a model x, to model x, the model x). From scale models and representational 

models to the social models that form the context for our lives, we will explore the possibility that we might one day fabricate – for better or worse – a new model for reality.

 
 
© Thomas Greenall