i recently came across a couple of wooden study models dating back to architecture school. the project was to design a superstore for a then-empty lot on sixth avenue in nyc, and i think these early studies were meant to convey massing, storytelling, some other thing. i remember there were a set of rules, but what those rules were escapes me now. something about stacking. it was a weird studio - kind of argumentative, circular and frustrating. when i made these models, i was thinking of the store as a giant gift package. my critic talked me out of that clear idea and into who knows what ambiguity and formlessness (story of many of my graduate studios, i’m afraid). anyway, all of this has me thinking that sometimes study models are so much more visceral and effective than the final product (see previous post), and that sometimes it takes extra courage - or foresight, or you-tell-me-what - to stop working and let a good object be what it is. i often think this when i see tall buildings under construction in the city. it might have been rem koolhaas or frank gehry that said it: they always look better when they’re not finished yet.