Derek Zoolander misunderstanding the scale of the model for the Derek Zoolander Centre for Kids Who Can’t Read Good, is usually the first example that comes to mind when trying to recall architecture models in film.


It’s also a great example of how the model is often used for comedic effect – the inability or refusal to understand the abstraction in scale usually being the final gag.


What is this? A centre for ants?!

Zoolander_03The power of the model and that which it proposed is undermined when Derek fails to comprehend the basic fact of its function. The scene takes the joke even further when they have him throw it on the floor, destroying it in a fit of ignorant rage.  

“How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read… if they can’t even fit inside the building?”

As Mugatu tries to Explain…. Derek interrupts him “I don’t wanna hear your excuses!”  He then confidently insists that the solution is having it be “at least three times bigger than this!” Definitely takes me back to my archi school days.

ArchiModels is a monthly series by Suné Horn; showcasing short explorations into how architectural models have been utilised as supporting characters in film.