Using physical models to generate creative ideas for architecture students

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Islamic Architecture, College of Engineering and Islamic Architecture, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia



Architectural models serve as a bridge between the idea and its realization. Moreover, it is considered one of the main means by which the architect invents and develops his design. The “Architectural Models” course in many architectural schools introduces the basics of implementing architectural models. Students learn how to think of and build architectural models using different materials. While many of these courses overlook how to think about architectural concepts using physical models. The aim of this research is to state and examine strategies for generating architectural ideas using physical models. This paper discusses various strategies for generating architectural ideas using physical models. Furthermore, it illustrates an experiment conducted in the “Architectural Models” course in the Department of Architecture and Environmental Design at the Arab Academy for Science and Technology, Egypt, which was offered in 2021. The experiment was followed by a small questionnaire. The experiment aims to stimulate the creation of innovative architectural forms using physical models. The role of architectural models goes beyond presenting projects.  Therefore, the intended learning outcomes of the “Architectural Models” courses in architecture departments should be developed. Strategies for generating ideas using architectural models were adopted and applied. This is the first paper in which such strategies are examined. The final students' products were very good, and their feedback was very encouraging.


Articles in Press, Corrected Proof
Available Online from 30 March 2023
  • Receive Date: 01 November 2022
  • Revise Date: 23 November 2022
  • Accept Date: 24 December 2022
  • First Publish Date: 30 March 2023