Direct and Indirect Geometry of Architectural Paper Model: Images for Imagination

  • Martino PavignanoEmail author
  • Ursula Zich
  • Caterina Cumino
  • Maria L. Spreafico
  • Ornella Bucolo
  • Daniela Miron
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1140)


We present some remarks on the different communicative features of images generated by physical models for architecture, our study is part of an interdisciplinary research and educational project between Representation and Mathematics (with focus on Geometry). In particular, our work frames the problem of direct and indirect use of physical models, with attention to the constituent and readable geometry in the origami model (especially in its meaning of means to represent the architectural form).

Over time, physical models have undeniably played an important role in the educational path, mainly in activities carried out in close contact with the teaching staff. However, to date it is important to reflect on the possibility of effectively communicating models’ properties and prerogatives also through their synthetic representation, namely through a critically selected set of images, in order to construct a visual narration that can highlight their meaning.


Physical model Architecture Geometry Communication Graphic visualization Origami 



For the author M. Pavignano the contribution was developed within the research project M.A.G.I.A.: Mathematics Architecture Geometry. Interconnections and Applications.

Although the contribution was conceived jointly, paragraphs were authored by: 1 M. Pavignano; 2 C. Cumino and U. Zich; 3, 3.2 C. Cumino, M. Pavignano and U. Zich, 3.1 D. Miron with O. Bucolo, 4 C. Cumino, M. Pavignano, M.L. Spreafico and U. Zich.

The pictures presented in the paper were technically supported by the Laboratory of Architectural Survey and Documentation (Laboratorio di Rilievo e Documentazione – RILDOC), Politecnico di Torino, Department of Architecture and Design. Scientific Coordinator prof. arch. P. Davico, Technical Coordinators arch. O. Bucolo and arch. D. Miron.

Pictures credits: Figs. 3, 6c/d, 7c/d, 8 D. Miron (Nikon D3, 50 mm lens); Figs. 2b, 3b scanned with Olivetti dCopia4500MF plus; Figs. 1, 9, 10 M. Pavignano (iPhone 7 plus); Fig. 4 were extracted from a video made in 2018 by P. Farina during his trainee at Polito DISMA with the Centro Studi Residenze Reali Sabaude in Venaria Reale, Italy.

Crease Patterns credits: Fig. 6a C. Cumino, M. Pavignano, M.L. Spreafico and U. Zich; Fig. 7a E. Frigerio.

All our models were folded by C. Cumino.

All graphic elaborations were made by M. Pavignano.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martino Pavignano
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ursula Zich
    • 1
  • Caterina Cumino
    • 2
  • Maria L. Spreafico
    • 2
  • Ornella Bucolo
    • 1
  • Daniela Miron
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Architecture and Design (DAD)Politecnico di TorinoTurinItaly
  2. 2.Department of Mathematical Sciences “G. L. Lagrange” (DISMA)Politecnico di TorinoTurinItaly

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