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idea lab 2022: hythus hu

Jingyi Hu

Jingyi “Hythus” Hu and former TBGer Megan Daniel teamed up to explore the idea of tactile engagement within the design process and integration of physical models. Simply put, model-making. The cohort’s idea is rooted in the belief that model-making has the ability to be a strong design tool in the studio as part of the creative process, as well as collaborating with clients. The model-making methods they explored were rooted in easily accessible materials like sketch paper, glue and clay.

While 3D model-making is not essential to the practice of landscape architecture, it can help describe a design more clearly. The 3D form keeps design at a higher level versus jumping into too much detail when that step is skipped. Exploring construction details through model making is a great tool for internal education and testing the performance of materials to push innovation in our practice.

The team issued a firmwide survey and received excited responses that pointed out possible challenges like time and money, as well as the misconception that you must have a high level of skill to participate in model-making. In their presentation the designers cleared up this misconception and further discussed the potential they see model-making having and presenting examples of their own.

Different types of models may include:
• Sketch
• Concept
• Prototype
• Simulation
• Structural
• Educational
• Informative
• Presentation

In the end, Hythus and Megan were awarded the opportunity to move forward with their idea. Hythus recently spearheaded firm-wide presentations in which she taught designers how to model-make and easily implement it in their processes. She has been met with excitement and openness, and the firm is excited to see how model-making will make us better landscape architects and continue to challenge our creativity.

This blog is part of a series of TBG’s IdeaLab program – a structured fellowship that allows participants from every TBG office to explore a topic of their choosing related to TBG’s work. The process consists of tailored mentorship and guidance and firmwide support. Read more about the program here.