Paper models of architectural surfaces: images for implicit and explicit geometries

Caterina Cumino, Martino Pavignano, Ursula Zich


This contribution focuses on paper models of architectural surfaces, in particular on some roofing systems describable by developable ones. Drawing on an interdisciplinary approach, between Architecture and Mathematics, potentialities and criticalities of these models in explicitly conveying Geometry are investigated, in relation to educational and communicative tasks, both when they are used in a direct, tangible way, and when the use is mediated by images generated by them (thus indirect); we discuss on the possibility for models and images to communicate their explicit and implicit Geometries. The main issue discussed is that a material or analytical description unequivocally allows to grasp all the peculiarities of geometrical shapes, while other representations are subject to critical selection of data and are therefore affected by subjective interpretations; similarly, the translation of the physical model into images is the result of choices which emphasize certain object peculiarities over others and is thus less objective. Hence the importance of the physical model (as well as its digital counterparts) which, even if not used directly, can be complementary to a content that, alone, would be partial and/or misleading.


geometry; paper models; architecture; mathematics; interdisciplinary knowledge sharing

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Copyright (c) 2020 Caterina Cumino, Martino Pavignano, Ursula Zich

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