Chicago just finished building a model of the city and I have to say I am disappointed. Why build a white 3d model of Chicago. Surprisingly, Chicago is a colorful place but you wouldn’t know it from this display. Modern technology is again allowing us to take short cuts that are not actually improvements. This model was made using 3D printing technology which I use myself and I heartily agree with this choice. 3D printing is great as it builds complicated shapes quickly and cheaply. With this model, cheaply seems to be the dominant theme. I understand that cost is always a factor but this is a central show piece for the entire city, why make it a ghost town? To me white models do look clean and are great for architecture meetings or design review boards but not for the general public. Color is what gives a model life and creates a miniature reality that the people living there, and who love the city, can relate to.
This model was in fact painted. The 3D printer that was used, grew the buildings from a clear material. Someone made the choice to paint everything white! Where are the parks? Where is the cool reflective light from the windows? The only way this mimics the Chicago skyline is in silhouette.
From what I have read, this model is getting good reviews from the press which I think is a testament to how effective models are in general and how inexperienced the press is when it comes to these types of displays.
I admit that I am a model snob but when we created a model of downtown Denver we captured the character and the life of the city with lighting and color. We don’t live in a white, white world, and there is no good reason it should be modeled that way.
Tell us what you think of the comparison between the white Chicago 3d model and the images below of our downtown Denver model.