Little Paper People

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

By Gem Barton
Photos by Kenji Masunaga

These 1:100 scale figures and accessories (sold in a flat, pre-cut, punch-out form) are so great, you might forget to add the buildings. Which is kind of the idea, it turns out.

Architect and model maker Naoki Terada formed Terada-Mokei last year with a view to exploring the potential for modeling and manipulating scale. The 1:100 (standard architectural model) scale Architectural Model Accessories Series was initially aimed at architects for use in their building models. Terada soon realized there was an equally sizeable interest in his mini paper people from art and design lovers worldwide. If you’re not familiar with 1:100 scale, the width of a door for example would be represented by something approximately the same width as your finger—100 times smaller. For architects, model people give the viewer a sense of scale and proportion

Terada doesn’t stop at producing models of people, he has a full range of features and accessories available such as play equipment, ice age animals, bicycles, construction sites, orchestras, football teams, coasters and dress up stickers as well as the more standard trees, tables and chairs etc. He just released sets of athletes that look like they could be Olympic competitors in swimming, and gymnastics.

While his models might be adorable and fun on one level, Terada speaks passionately about the use (or editing) of detail in scale models; Creating the perfect model that grabs people's attention is not about creating perfection. Constructing the details and controlling density of a model is crucial. Any way you work it, appreciation comes from a visual context, so detailing things the human eye cannot or will not pick up is pointless. Rather those models, which are low on elements and leave room for the imagination give birth to 'reality.'”

Find out more at Terada-Mokei 

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