Realism is not neutral. CGI has its own politics. We can see this in digital representations of non-white individuals, which tend to be at best stereotypical and, at worst, caricaturish and overly sexualized. Meanwhile, whiteness tends to be represented as default and neutral as evidenced by the Jack and Jill avatars in Siemens Tecnomatix Jack human modeling software or the original Sketchup scale figure, Bryce. To counter these traditions, PEOPLING STUDIO puts forth black and brown skin tones as the default settings. We also acknowledge the limitations of 3D human models, in particular the distinction between 3D scan data and sculpted meshes. We provide sculpted meshes as these are the least exaggerated and “idealized” models we’ve encountered.

Peopling as an act crucial to visualization and architectural representation tends to be relegated to an afterthought, as something done at the end of the design phase. This is perhaps due to the laborious demands required by contemporary design processes. Our mission is to provide ready-to-use diverse scale figures for use at any phase of the process. While individuals could certainly benefit from (critically) designing their own humans using tools such as makehuman community, the process is so taxing and unintuitive that we decided to go ahead and do it for you.

At the same time, we must acknowledge that any act of representation is inherently biased, and that instead of striving for a completely colorblind or unbiased world, we should openly discuss preconceptions and put them out in the open. PEOPLING STUDIO builds upon ongoing discourses on digital representations of the human body, identity, and the ethics of visualization.


It is important to note that we are not selling these scenes. They are provided as-is for educational purposes only. By downloading any file you agree to join the PEOPLING STUDIO project and mission. As a team member, you are entitled to modify these as you wish.

We only ask for donations as a means to support the ongoing project, its web hosting costs and the labor involved in modeling and designing the figures.

Anne Balsamo, Technologies of the Gendered Body: Reading Cyborg Women (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996), 3.

A.M. Darke, “The Open Source Afro Hair Library,” https://prettydarke.cool/portfolio/open-source-afro-hair-library/

Dora Epstein Jones, “Little People Everywhere: The Populated Plan,” Log 45 (Winter/Spring 2019): 67.

Galo Canizares, “Technologies of the Virtual Other: Bodies, Users, and Avatars,” Journal of Architectural Education 74, no. 2 (September 2020): 79-91.

Hilary Sample and Michael Meredith, A Situation Constructed from Loose and Overlapping Social and Architectural Aggregates (Baunach: Spurbuchverlag, 2016).

Simone C. Niquille, “SimFactory,” e-flux Architecture, September 22, 2017, https://www.e-flux.com/architecture/artificial-labor/153913/simfactory/.

Simone C. Niquille, “What Does the Graphical User Interface Want?,” in Work, Body, Leisure, ed. Marina Otero Verzier and Nick Axel (Berlin: Hatje Catnz, 2018), 211–30.

Stephanie Syjuco, “Default Men and 3-D Diversity: Bryce vs. Sang,” Open Space (SFMOMA), December 12, 2009, https://openspace.sfmoma.org/2009/12/default-men-and-3-d-diversity-bryce-vs-sang/.

Norman I. Badler, Cary B. Phillips, Bonnie Lynn Webber, Simulating Humans: Computer Graphics Animation and Control (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993).

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