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Shrinking the world: why we can't resist model villages – podcast

He goes on to explain that while this model is over simplistic, it allowed to explain and co-relate a large number of scientific observations available at the time.

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It also allowed to derive a large number of practical applications. In opposite, most of our science have been created by slowly moving from more simplistic to more advanced models of the world. That is where author and I disagree. Some people literally believe in a man above the sky, while others simply think that God is nature, and anything in between. In any case, I think the model of God works and has worked for billions of people over the course of thousands of years. Essential Homme Mamadou Lo.

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See all Trending Men. Aedan is an Oregonian sushi chef. Agency directory. Agencies Show Packages. Industry Now: Dominic Sidhu. Industry Now: Gabriella Karefa-Johnson. Elisio was scouted in a Lisbon supermarket. Latest Advertising Campaigns. Various Campaigns. Moda Operandi. Patrizia Pepe. Studio Tomboy. See all campaigns. British Vogue. Harper's Bazaar UK. Numero Homme Netherlands. Vanity Fair UK. It is not really the s we see, but a vision of what we hope the s were like the early s, before the nervousness. For several decades, Bekonscot tried to keep pace with modern life; there were some brutalist constructions placed among the mock-Tudor semis, diesel railways replaced steam, and on the airfield modern jets including Concorde made an appearance.

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But then, with the pace of life accelerating, and the historical integrity of Bekonscot looking increasingly confusing, the people who ran the place decided that the model should go back to its roots. So the modern world was banished, or at least repainted. Most people come to Bekonscot for containment and trimmed privets, for a place forever amber. But the rough-hewn figures also suggest unease.


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When the World of Interiors visited in , it photographed a stark row of topless male sunbathers on loungers, with one of them fallen face-down submissively on a stone floor. Viewed at an angle, the s may indeed resemble a claustrophobic and deceptive decade. What was the Bekonscot butcher stamping on? Who was being buried in the cemetery, and could we possibly intervene before a bride married a man with red lips and a cold, pinched stare?


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So much analytical potential here: neither the youngest child nor the wizened social psychologist will ever leave Bekonscot disappointed. We are drawn to the apparent integrity of the vision, and instead of helping the tiny wooden figures to escape, sometimes we may just want in. A hopeful fielder runs to catch a ball in mid-air. Perhaps only a true work of art could withstand this level of scrutiny for almost a century.

For the moment, Bekonscot really does look like the full English Brexit: idyllic in its imagination, disillusioned in its present, unfathomable to the outside world. M odel villages were once a disproportionately British obsession.

It can be incredibly boring

On those mythical golden holidays of the early s, it was difficult not to trip over one en route to the crazy golf. But then the Costa del Sol and the permissive society arrived, and miniature innocence seemed to go the way of the girdle and the trouser press. Then there is Godshill on the Isle of Wight, featuring a model village in its model village of the model village, scaled at , with a lake the size of a full stop.

Our fascination with miniature objects has been with us since cave paintings, and we will never tire of bringing things down to size in an effort to better appreciate them. The model village has just become the model world. There are few things that Instagram likes more than human giants in a concentrated landscape of Big Ben, Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty. Almost every country offers its own model world these days, and all provide a strategically idiosyncratic combination of nationalistic pride and towering hubris. We may open the bidding at Legoland Windsor, where 42m bricks have created a world of Canary Wharf Tower, the Angel of the North, the windmills of Old Amsterdam, and — because inexplicable incongruity is the way with these things — Cape Canaveral and the Easter Island statues.

There are buildings to see in 25 cities across five continents. Never to be outdone by America, a major miniature world in Shenzhen has magnificence built into its name: Splendid China. Splendid China contains 25 replica miniature villages and 50, tiny clay figures. The place opened in and was such a success that it inspired worldwide franchising. The attraction closed in , although for a while after that it remained a great attraction for looters and rats. Back in Europe, mini-business is booming. One could quite feasibly spend a fortnight ankle-deep in resin and polyurethane.

We could begin at Madurodam in The Hague, a commendable and charitable institution that opened in , inspired by Bekonscot and featuring everything you wanted to know about Dutch buildings and history at a scale of this is the norm for walk-around miniature parks: model people come up to your heels, bungalows up to your ankles and the Eiffel Tower looms at 12 metres.

What it lacks in wit it more than makes up for in its dedication to originality; in place of the more usual Arc de Triomphe and the Statue of Liberty there is the Suleymaniye mosque, the Aspendos theatre and a stone rendering of the ancient city of Ephesus.

The cutest of all may be Swissminiatur on the banks of Lake Lugano. In the s, when the exchange rate worked in their favour, this was the most popular tourist attraction in Switzerland for Italians. They hopped over the border with lire that would buy the cheapest booze and fags, and, deciding to make a day of it, then spent many happy hours teetering over the monument to William Tell and an intricately crafted Alpine cheese dairy.

These days Swissminiatur struggles to be the most popular tourist attraction even in the region of Lake Lugano, but its models are both quaint and instructive, and, in their earnestness and number, unique. Where else could you hope to find the international headquarters of the Red Cross in Geneva, the Olympic bobsleigh run of St Moritz and the Winkelried monument of Stans?

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But why go to all the trouble to visit these places if you can just go to Mini-Europe in Belgium and see almost everything in one go? One reason for not going to Mini-Europe is because Mini-Europe is terrible, and you must avoid it even if you have absolutely nothing else to do. Mini-Europe is what happens when a civic amusement is designed by a committee on which all the creative and sensible members have consistently called in sick, perhaps only too aware of what was being constructed on their watch. Mini-Europe exemplifies a shrinking vision, a meaningless stamp collection.

Even when it opened on the outskirts of Brussels with a certain optimism in , no one could quite say what it was for. Mini-Europe is over-manicured and over-sponsored, and it is almost invulnerable to humanity, making you long for the idiosyncrasies of almost anywhere else.

And yet the place is a hit. About , people visit it annually.

The Model World of Robert Symes pt1

W hat is going on in our world that can possibly explain such a fervent desire to shrink it?