A Model Family – The Finished Product

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I started this project using an idea that started off in secondary school regarding family and trust circles.  I drew out some circles, graduating out from myself to the people that were closest to me and worked out from that.  I set about looking at the connections between myself and sets of people who I knew and also the movements of people within those groups.  I wanted to examine the relationships between people who I knew and my family.  It was important tome to use my family and friends as I wanted it to be personal to me and felt that I could pick apart and really go in-depth the movements between certain people in these groups.

I came up with a series of diagrams, ones with the people named in the groups, another with just the movements of the people outlined and one with nothing apart from the sets of groups and where they lay in relationship to me and other groups.  These bare diagrams were a stepping stone to where my project went next.  I continued drawing diagrams and as I looked back on them they started to remind me of cells, molecules and the solar system.  One of the diagrams I drew inspired me to make a 3D model as I could see, from the diagram, how it would come together.

The diagrams I drew were colour coded for the groups of people that were being represented and I chose to keep as much to the colour code as possible.  I don’t think it matters that the viewer doesn’t know the colour code, what matters is that it gets people thinking about the relationships of the groups and gets them asking questions.


I decided to continue on this path and created another 3D model which is stripped bar of any friends and concentrates purely on my family group.  The colours used to represent the people is similar to the first model as I wanted it to appear quite uniform, but the actual colour code is different.

I looked into names for the models I had made and chose the overall title “Model Family” as that is what I had created, models of my family, models of relationships to people within those “family groups”.   Individually, I have named them after equations that I came up with after looking at them and deconstructing the diagrams I had drawn.  the largest model is called M=F(1IF,1EF)+Bf(1SF,1AF)+Fr(1BF,1CF)+O(1UF,1WF,1CF,1SF), the next smallest model is called 2P+2B+1M=NF(1EF,1AF,1K)+1Bf(1Bf,1RF), the 3rd is called NF(2P+3C) and the smallest is just called M. I created and called them equations as a nod towards them looking like scientific structures.  I didn’t want to call them Model Family, Model Family Simplified etc (which I was  going to call them originally) as they sound too obvious.


I chose to mount them against a white background of Foam Board, again, as a nod towards the scientific nature of the appearance of them.  I thought about having them free-standing but when I tried that it didn’t look quite right.  I needed a clean backdrop which showed off the colours and the relationship bonds between the groups and decided that a white background really showed that off.


I am happy with the way the project has turned out.  when I started this project I wasnt sure where it was going to take me or what the outcome would be.  I am surprised at how well they came out and would like to continue this project using other people and their families and friends to create more models that could be used for comparison purposes.  I think that other families models will turn out different going by family circumstance (ie divorce) and different life experiences will change the friendship groups too.  Some groups may not exist at all and this is something I am keen to look at in the future.

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