Apr 16th,

8:30am — 11:30am

Location: Zoom

About The Workshop

Inspired by the photographic work of Bernd and Hilla Becher and Thomas Demand and the banal material excess of Amazon packaging which has proliferated during the pandemic, this workshop will provide a focused study of proportion, industrial spaces, and material assemblies. The Becher’s photographic work is significant for its focus on quotidian yet powerful industrial forms. Their photography reveals the complexity, order, and inadvertently sculptural qualities of industrial landscapes. They are masters of their craft, and each image is a study in proportion, scale, measure, detail, texture, and value. Workshop participants will translate a 2D image into a digital model, and then into a physical model. This workflow is central to a creative practice that engages images, digital processes, and material transformation. The workshop will heighten our awareness of image construction and proportion. Participants in the workshop will be provided one of the Becher’s photographs of a grain silo. We will analyze the photo and develop systems of measurement and proportion to translate the 2D image into a 3D digital model in Rhino. In the second half of the workshop, guided by the digital model, we will construct physical models from readily accessible found objects. The models will then be photographed from the same vantage point as the source image. The translation will invite close reading of form, proportion, light, texture, and relief into a physical model, and then back into a photograph. The workshop will also introduce participants to effective digital workflow. Students will submit all photographs for assembly into a pamphlet.

Students must have Rhino software on their computer or come to campus to use a computer in the computer lab. Most students will have all materials on hand already, but in some cases, students may need to pick up a materials kit from the Sam Fox School the week of the workshop.

Cross Disciplinary Connections

This workshop creates a platform to develop skills for digital modeling, visual/geometric analysis that will strengthen other areas of creative practice. It also connects concepts from the museum and its collection with disciplinary interests of art and architecture.


A digital and physical model of an industrial building.

Next Steps

I am happy to continue the conversation with students about Rhino, Becher, and making.


  • Jonathan Stitelman

    Jonathan Stitelman is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture and Urban Design. His research interests center around the entanglement of representation and space, design as an element of cultural anthropology, and refugee resettlement. Over the past 9 years, he has taught architecture and urban design studios and seminars at every level of undergraduate and graduate programs. He has held teaching positions at Cornell University and Washington University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Psychology from the University of Vermont and Master of Architecture and Master of Urban Design degrees from Washington University, with honors.