Recommended Books

The following publications have been recommended by our members. To add your recommendations to this list, please contact [email protected].

The sole purpose of this list is to share resources with those seeking guidance on model making techniques. The APMM does not benefit from or endorse the titles listed, nor does the APMM accept responsibility for any information provided in these books. Links for third party sites are not under the control of the APMM and are not protected by our Privacy Policy.

The recommended books are all available through Amazon. All images, descriptions and publication information were taken from the Amazon website.

Professional Modelmaking: A Handbook of Techniques and Materials for Architects and Designers
By Norma Trudeau

The model is the most effective tool a designer has to clearly present three-dimensional ideas to a client. If it is well made, it can look as real as the final product.

Professional Modelmaking is the only up-to-date reference on modelmaking today, with more than 100 new and old materials discussed - including resins, foams, plastics, wood, clay, solvents and adhesives - as well as state-of-the-art techniques, professional tips and tricks of the trade. The book provides step-by-step instruction, showing models and procedures at different stages of completion to facilitate a thorough understanding of the materials and processes being discussed. Also emphasized are safety and ecologically-sound practices, both important areas long neglected in the field. Brimming with full-color illustrations and instructional diagrams throughout, the book is accessible to amateurs and professionals alike. Professional Modelmaking is an invaluable resource for students, designers, modelmakers, architects, restorers and engineers.

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Watson-Guptill; First edition (April 1, 1995)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0823040984
ISBN-13: 978-0823040988


Basics: Fundamentals of Presentation Modelbuilding
By Alexander Schilling

Models make it possible to visualize an idea in three dimensions. Designing with models and presenting ideas is an important step in the development of a consciousness of design.
- Levels of abstraction and degrees of detail
- Model typologies
- Typical working tools and techniques
- Materiality of models
- Presentation possibilities

Publisher: Birkhaeuser
ISBN-13: 978-3034613316
ISBN-10: 9783034613316



Model-Making: Materials and Methods
By David Neat

Models can be used in a wide variety of situations, including theater production, architecture design, animation, and set design. For each different situation a specific material is often preferable, and this handy guide addresses the best model-making materials, from the standard and traditional to the new and innovative. Tips are provided on how each of the materials behaves and how best to use them, and illustrated instructions demonstrate methods of building, shaping, surfacing, and painting each material. A number of examples are also included along with step-by-step accounts of what materials were used and how they were manipulated without the need for expensive tools or workshop facilities. A directory covering the full range of materials involved in model-making together with an extensive list of suppliers complete this essential resource.

Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Crowood Press (May 26, 2008
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1847970176
ISBN-13: 978-1847970176 


Architectural Modelmaking (Portfolios Skills: Architecture)
By Nick Dunn

This book focuses on the inspiring possibilities for creating three-dimensional, physical models of the built environment with all the different media and techniques that are now available. Through description of the use of different models in different contexts, the book provides a practical and effective guide to how and why models are used, in addition to what they are used for, and how they relate to architecture education.

Series: Portfolio Skills: Architecture
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Laurence King Publishing (September 8, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1856696707
ISBN-13: 978-1856696708


An Architectural Model
By Will Strange

A description of the making of a simple architectural model. By describing the construction of a simple commercial architectural model, this book shows some of the tools, materials and techniques employed by professional modelmakers. There are many different ways to make most parts of a model like this. This book gives a basic introduction that can be built upon with practice and the study of other models.

Paperback: 188 pages
Publisher: (November 4, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1291619089


By Richard Sennett

Why do people work hard, and take pride in what they do? This book, a philosophically-minded enquiry into practical activity of many different kinds past and present, is about what happens when people try to do a good job. It asks us to think about the true meaning of skill in the 'skills society' and argues that pure competition is a poor way to achieve quality work. Sennett suggests, instead, that there is a craftsman in every human being, which can sometimes be enormously motivating and inspiring - and can also in other circumstances make individuals obsessive and frustrated. "The Craftsman" shows how history has drawn fault-lines between craftsman and artist, maker and user, technique and expression, practice and theory, and that individuals' pride in their work, as well as modern society in general, suffers from these historical divisions. The past lives of crafts and craftsmen show us ways of working (using tools, acquiring skills, and thinking about materials) which provide rewarding alternative ways for people to utilize their talents. We need to recognize this if motivations are to be understood and lives made as fulfilling as possible.

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books (February 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0141022094
ISBN-13: 978-0141048468


A Place of My Own: The Architecture of Daydreams
By Michael Pollan

"A room of one's own: is there anybody who hasn't at one time or another wished for such a place, hasn't turned those soft words over until they'd assumed a habitable shape?"

When writer Michael Pollan decided to plant a garden, the result was an award-winning treatise on the borders between nature and contemporary life, the acclaimed bestseller Second Nature. Now Pollan turns his sharp insight to the craft of building, as he recounts the process of designing and constructing a small one-room structure on his rural Connecticut property--a place in which he hoped to read, write and daydream, built with his two own unhandy hands.

Invoking the titans of architecture, literature and philosophy, from Vitrivius to Thoreau, from the Chinese masters of feng shui to the revolutionary Frank Lloyd Wright, Pollan brilliantly chronicles a realm of blueprints, joints and trusses as he peers into the ephemeral nature of "houseness" itself. From the spark of an idea to the search for a perfect site to the raising of a ridgepole, Pollan revels in the infinitely detailed, complex process of creating a finished structure. At once superbly written, informative and enormously entertaining, A Place of My Own is for anyone who has ever wondered how the walls around us take shape--and how we might shape them ourselves.

A Place of My Own recounts his two-and-a-half-year journey of discovery in an absorbing narrative that deftly weaves the day-to-day work of design and building--from siting to blueprint, from the pouring of foundations to finish carpentry--with reflections on everything from the power of place to shape our lives to the question of what constitutes "real work" in a technological society.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (December 30, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0143114743
ISBN-13: 978-0143114741


The Case for Working with Your Hands, Or, What Office Work is Bad for Us and Fixing Things Feels Good
By Matthew B. Crawford

It's time to rethink our attitudes to work. For too long we have convinced ourselves that the only jobs worth doing involve sitting at a desk. Generations of school-leavers head for university lacking the skills to fix or even understand the most basic technology. And yet many of us are not suited to office life, while skilled manual work provides one of the few and most rewarding paths to a secure living. Drawing on the work of our greatest thinkers, from Aristotle to Heidegger, from Karl Marx to Iris Murdoch, as well as on his own experiences as an electrician and motorcycle mechanic, Matthew Crawford's irreverent and inspiring manifesto will change the way you think about work forever.

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Penguin Viking (March 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0141047291
ISBN-13: 978-0141047294


On Craftsmanship: Towards a New Bauhaus
By Christopher Frayling

Christopher Frayling was until recently Rector at the Royal College of Art and Chairman of Arts Council England and of the Design Council. An historian, writer and award-winning broadcaster on radio and television, he has published eighteen books on the arts, design and film. He was once described as ‘the Kenneth Clark of popular culture’. In the year 2001, Christopher was knighted for ‘services to art and design education’.

Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Oberon Books; Reprint edition (October 3, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1786820854
ISBN-13: 978-1786820853