Saturday, September 8, 2018–Sunday, September 25, 2018 | a+d museum
WIREFRAMES: The Visualization of Architecture
Wireframes is the first exhibit to track the art of architectural visualization since its inception. The exhibit presents a series of narratives, snapshots from the discipline’s vibrant history. Through illustrations, projections, and interactive technologies the visitor is immersed in the story of architectural visualization. With over 30 artists participating, Wireframes exhibits the infinite possibilities for creative visual communication. Artists include Squint,/Opera Hayes Davidson, dBox, Studio AMD, Neoscape, Mir, Luxigon, Alex Roman, and architect-turned-director, Joseph Kosinski.
The goal of Wireframes is to tell the story of architectural visualization by the people who have lived it. Curated by visualization experts from Kilograph, Gensler, CGarchitect and Chaos Group with the A+D Museum, the work on display encourages attendees to explore the practice that defines how we view structures and space.
One of the most enlightening aspects of the exhibition are the story panels, each created by a different architectural visualization artist or studio to give their take on a particular subject that the curatorial team defined as an essential part of the history of arch viz. From the very first wireframe through to today’s explorations in AR and VR, the story panels discuss the evolution of the field, examine its impact on the future, and look at the origins, inspirations and workflow-changing technologies along the way.
“The history of architectural visualization tells the story of architectural communications,” said Anthony Morey, executive director and chief curator at A+D Museum. “From the first ‘wireframe’ to future updates in multi-sensory experiences, this is an art form that continues to mold public expectations about built environments that shape their lives. As these images enter the public realm, they broaden our imaginations by pushing forward advances in urban environments and architecture. As architectural visualization practices advance, they give us a new form of freedom to explore where we are and our possible futures.”
Showcased alongside Wireframes at the A+D Museum is Architecture in Perspective, an exhibition that proudly presents this year’s winners of the American Society of Architectural Illustrators’ Architecture in Perspective Competition. This international-juried competition recognizes the world’s best architectural illustrations across a wide spectrum of traditional and digital media, and winners include Sergei Tchoban, Steelblue, Paul Stevenson Oles and Forbes Massie. The CGarchitect Architectural 3D Awards are also a highlight of the exhibition as the largest and most prestigious awards event for the architectural visualization industry; winners in the show include top studios, freelancers and students from around the world.
We here are all trained architects, so we see our rendering production simply as keeping architects off the street, so to say. We personally like to enter architectural competitions, not rendering competitions. We are not largely concerned with the aesthetic quality of a final image, but mostly the portrayed information and suggested potential within it. Rendering provides the support necessary to focus on more personal, architectural work. Maybe staying on both sides of the fence has kept us more aware of the risks dramatic effects might cause... we don’t mind throwing in a blue sky for the win.
Now, rendering appears to have become to architecture what pornography is to every teenage boy. Just like a centerfold model, this architectural pornography is shopped and enhanced to cater to the fantasies of the reader. And like pornography, it’s not to be put into every hand without a clear and careful explanation of what’s good, what’s bad, and what it means. Nobody would want to be held responsible for putting pornography into the hands of a child, the same goes for rendering and architecture students. We play the “good parents” to teach students what an image is, how to use it, and when. The opportunity to equip students with a stronger sensibility to “suggest possibilities, open minds, find references and connections” should happen more often.
Working on our personal projects we often highlight the most critical features of a project while dressing up, or even omitting, its faults. With the power we have over the “reality” of our images also comes a level of danger. While the ability to communicate both the tectonic and ephemeral qualities of a building is crucial, as architects we must be careful not to be fooled by the quality of our own finished images. A famous quote from Scarface is popular in our office: “don’t get high on your own supply.” In our experience, rendering becomes more meaningful as a research tool. We avoid creating commercials for buildings, not being consumed by style in the search for substance.
How can you be that bad and look that good? The details don’t need to be resolved just yet, what’s the point of looking realistic when you are far from being done? Rendering can be a very simple thing. Three-dimensionality isn’t the only answer, collage can be just as effective. Our workflow allows us to produce iteratively, so that physical conditions can be portrayed rapidly in order to leave time to perfect the metaphysical qualities. Renderings that leave little up to the imagination are in fact working against themselves, stifling their own potential. The product takes precedence over the process, and a focus on the final result that counters the in-progress nature of design. While a good rendering may be able to create the illusion of good architecture, a good renderer does in no way equal a good architect.
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Saturday, June 15, 2013–Sunday, January 5, 2014 | Gallery 286
New Views: The Rendered Image in Architecture
The Art Institute’s collection of architecture, spanning works from 1850 to the present, includes a range of two-dimensional modes of representation illustrating various stages of the design process. And yet, as images made by hand, such as sketches or collages, have given way to those produced on computers, there has been a shift in the way architectural projects are visualized. This exhibition focuses on the digitally rendered images that have recently become ubiquitous in the world of architecture and design.
As part of a series in which the Art Institute invites outside architects and designers to organize installations that investigate new thinking and practices within and beyond their professional disciplines, the editors of the New York–based journal CLOG have built upon their recent issue, CLOG: Rendering, for a new exhibition. New Views: The Rendered Image in Architecture explores the diversity of rendering types being produced today through a presentation of 60 images from an international group of architects and design studios.
Because they were created using the most sophisticated technological tools, these images often defy the eye. The projects depicted can look so real that it is almost impossible to tell if they have been built or not, obviating the need to question whether a building can be successfully executed for a given site. Renderings are often generated to emphasize how a project might fit within a specific landscape; a new building is made to blend in to create the illusion of continuation and permanence within an existing skyline. At other times, architects are empowered to create images that signal a break with tradition, scenarios that visualize future potential and at their best open the discipline up to new thinking and discovery. As the editors of CLOG assert: “Our visual memory of architectural history is not only shaped by the physical structures we find throughout our city, but also through the images that are published and the famous representational works held in museum collections.” As this exhibition attests, digital renderings play an increasingly essential role in our understanding of the built world and necessitate further exploration.
This exhibition was made possible by the generous support of the Architecture & Design Society.