Skip to main content



Aug 12 2022


3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Guillermo Fernández-Abascal – On Mockups: Ready-Mades Ready to be Made ▶

Mockups have often been described as a full-sized 1:1 model built to test how things appear and function—a sample of the actual building, not the building yet. However, their eccentric status as a readymade ready to be made within the economy of architecture (mockup budgets are an essential piece in contemporary architecture services contracts) makes them something else, the semi-autonomous document par excellence. They are both dramatically redundant and brutally unique—a literal reproduction that enjoys its own life separated from the project it refers to. In fact, looking at the history of mockups, these two conditions might have always been their most defining characteristics. They operate as art pieces but could have also escaped from a laboratory. They are both engineering devices and poetic acts, well-researched 1:1 dreams. Ambiguous and free-standing, they mediate between science and culture and unveil the layered nature of architecture, disclosing design decisions and contractual obligations, intersecting material palettes and insurance policies, aligning budget discussions with aesthetic criticism. In summary, they play a role, from architecture’s conception to its dissemination, on-site, in the classroom or the museum. That is probably why mockups seem to have become architects, clients, builders, teachers, developers, students, contractors, politicians, consultants, citizens, photographers and curators’ favourite document; their own accessible totem.