Ever since I was a student at the University, I remember feeling some sort of rejection for projects that were presented with exaggerated and fanciful renderings.
The reason for my rejection was simple: I felt that the person presenting the project was shielded behind a striking image to avoid having to provide important details about the design created. That was my initial perception, and I was probably wrong more than half of the times, but it was the feeling that this type of presentations produced in me.
For me, it always seemed much more appealing to look at the presentation of a project that included many plans and sketches, than one with strange and unrealistic images.
Don´t get me wrong, I think that succeeding in the creation of an image of this kind is extremely valuable, some of them could almost be considered as works of art, but for an architect trying to present a project, an image like this could give a false impression of what the project actually is. The reality, the one that should be shown, may disappear between contrasting colors and excess of lights and shadows.
There are lots of architectural firms that use this tool to present the world with their designs. MVRDV is one of them, and while many of their built projects seem very interesting to me, I think their renderings don´t reflect what they really are.
These images are beautiful, really beautiful, but after seeing them, analyzing them, do we have an idea of how these spaces actually are?
Over the years, my mind has opened up a little (or a lot) to technology and I have begun to appreciate the importance of an image that helps us understand the lines which we architects call plans, I particularly understand how important this is for clients who, unlike us, were not trained to read plans.
But I still don´t like fanciful images.
There are many programs that allow us to show our designs as we have imagined them. SketchUp, for example, seems as an excellent choice to reflect what in our mind is so clear, without falling into fantasy. This program allows us to create an image of our project that could well have been drawn by anyone (of course, anyone who, unlike me, know how to draw well).
When we see an image created with this program, we know that what we’re seeing is a drawing, we’re not fooling anyone into believing in a space that does not exist and probably will not come into existence, but we can still understand the project; its shape, the colors and materials to be used, location, and all the details that we want to include.
The job of an architect goes far beyond imagining and creating. When we start working with a client, we acquire a responsibility to him or her. It is our duty to understand what clients want and submit a proposal consistent with their needs, but it is also our duty to be honest with them.
We complicate our lives trying to embellish our words, actions and, in the case of architects, our designs, but sometimes the most beautiful and honest way of doing things is also the simplest…