Confessions of an architectural modelmaker

Andrew Parkin - FaulknerBrowns Architects - 1

Faulkner Browns modelmaker Andrew Parkin explains why he has no need to fear the march of technology

My modelmaking journey began as an eight-year-old when my class was handed a pile of cardboard boxes, sheets and tubes and told to make anything we liked. While everyone else made simple faces, I created a battleship and an oil rig and was frustrated that the materials we had been given were too limited.

I was desperate to make more realistic models so Dad took me to a model shop in Sunderland and we bought a Veron Fledgling balsa kit, all sticks and tissue. After some pestering, the teacher in charge of the model club at my secondary school allowed me to join a year early as club mascot and I spent the next five years learning all the tips and techniques I could.

A levels in art and product design set me up for entry to Sunderland’s School of Art and Design where I discovered I had a talent for sculpture and began to explore the use of more unconventional processes and materials. A six-foot T-Rex was one of the stand-out pieces of this period, but I also learnt key skills like how to hit tight deadlines. An apprenticeship in architectural modelmaking at Kelley Morgan Models was followed by 16 years working in commercial modelmaking, before a return to the built environment. I joined Faulkner Browns full-time in 2013.


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