In this interview we cover a bunch of concepts very important to Nicola's work:
Model making as a way for human beings to make reality comprehensible. In particular, the process by which a linear narrative becomes a spatial model - a transition from time to space.
This occurs over time in a cultural as important stories retold, compressed, digested, and once sufficiently well sedimented in the society's imagination, begin to be explored from other perspectives, before finally becoming sculptures and then paintings (the important example of Ancient Greece and The Iliad over time being reinterpreted as tragedies that tell the story from the perspective of other characters, finally being distilled into sculptures and paintings. Thus parts of the collective unconscious, or the shared imagination of a culture become physical objects that we can hold onto.)
The implications for the exploratory opportunities and multiple perspectives implied by this - for fine art, science, politics and how this relates to history of cycles of iconoclasm. Nicola suggests that the artistic image can bring us back to a sense of the sacred in the world (rather than in an afterlife or distant ideal God) and provide motivation to balance or limit the destructive excesses of industrial progress in this world. Nicola outlines the three broad categories of work that he does - personal visions, opinions about subjects, and projects intended for display in one particular place. Nicola's vision of the function of architecture is strongly connected to the sacralisation of a territory (examples of Shinto shrines).