Future City Model Tips

Ah… Future City…. and the annoying, frustrating model.


The model is my least favorite thing to do because of the time required to build the model. Sure, the virtual city usually takes upwards to 50 hours (and then add all the redos) but at least it’s individual. The model is a whole different story. It needs to have collaboration plus creative thinking to figure out what materials to use with only a few tools to build it. You can’t backup, and redo without starting over, and redos are costly (and time-consuming). Luckily our team (Austonio, which won Honorable Mention at Nationals) had a parent who was a builder, so we got access to a foam cutter (which cuts foam like butter) and many other tools that not many people have lying around in their houses.

Brain Storming

Never start building stuff before you think (almost) everything out. Because then something will change and you will have wasted all the material and time for nothing. Think how to make the project DIFFERENT from  the others and stand out. Think how to seemly intergrate your moving part with the city itself. The more ideas you have in the first place, the better your model will be. :)

Time Management

Don’t leave this for after you finish your essay and virtual city. If you don’t, you’ll have to do all that brainstorming over winter break (when a lot of people are absent) and your building phase is rushed and not carefully thought. Ideas need to be shared at the very beginning, so by the time winter break rolls around, you have already developed a plan, and have the break to build it (open house: literally just have a house where you can come anytime to work on anything).

Scale Size

So to build this model, every building has to be in perspective. I have seen many models, and they generally have a really small scale size. Now this allows for bigger buildings, which could be used to display more detail, however, if your model was to be accurate, you could only display one type of building, because solar companies generally aren’t next to hospitals, because they aren’t really ‘connected.’ When you use a bigger (in difference) scale size, like 1in:200ft, you can see the layout of buildings, but sacrificing the detail and also square buildings, since computer parts are perfect sizes for buildings but unfortunately round.


Since our scale size allowed for a bigger picture of the city. My idea was to have parts to help win all of the awards (shoot high, expect low), to make sure we at least get one award. This is quantity over quality but I know that sometimes the opposite is also effective too.


As much was I know that the world will look TOTALLY different in the next 150 years, the engineers have been known to be ‘classical,’ where far fetched ideas are usually not given awards. Think of all the advancements in the past 150 years. A hundred fifty years ago, we were living the the 1870, when a computer was a person who did all the painstaking math.When the idea of a ‘car’ had just started with the patent of the engine. Most people back then would’ve thought that today (150 years later from 150 years ago) would’ve been very simular to there time, maybe just ideas of awesomeness that we take for granted now days (like air conditioners).

So anyway, its more like saying: What do you think cities will look like 50 years from now?

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