The secret lives of scalies

Screen shot of video about Lipsky Park design. (Gizmodo)

Screen shot of video on park design. Don’t click on this but on the video at bottom of post. (Gizmodo)

From comments to article by Alissa Walker.

From comments to article by Alissa Walker.

Scalies, according to Alissa Walker’s excellent report on an exhibit out in Berkeley, “The Secret Lives of Little People in Architectural Renderings,” are the little people in architectural renderings. That’s the term used by professionals. Scalies. They are mainly there to give a sense of scale to drawings of often gargantuan and indeed inhumane architecture. One of the first collections of people drawn into an architectural rendering was for a building by the Prussian architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel. That news comes from a commenter after Walker’s article. Another commenter posted, apropos of nothing, a GIF (moving) shot of a guy asking about a model of a proposed modernist building, “What’s this, a center for ants?” Walker replied, “Completely relevant: See also:” and then posted a video of a group of architects presenting a plan for a park honoring a mayor who had died and whose widow is in the audience. I have to assume that this is some sort of comedy routine, not a real presentation. Anyway, take a look:


About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
This entry was posted in Architects, Architecture, Art and design, Development, Humor, Urbanism and planning and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The secret lives of scalies

  1. Pingback: Dorothy in “Renderland” | Architecture Here and There

  2. Pingback: Scalies; or, architectural afterthoughts | FlowCoef

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.