architectural visualisation / design / digital art

ArchViz Theory

8. ArchViz Theory – The Off-Modern Way

In the previous article we have split nostalgia into three categories: longing for traditional communities, nature’s eternal return and flâneur’s love at last sight. In this particular one we will continue to examine the phenomenon while dealing with the fashionable criticisms of our contemporary society.

Many critical theorists regard the melancholia and mourning for ‘integrated’ ancient civilisations to be signs of weakness or mystification of past ages based on the fantasies of modernity. If we were to travel back in time to those ages, they argue, we would become nostalgic for the unique advantages of modernity. However, no one disputes the traumatic rupture with the past and the amnesia caused by the Industrial Revolution. No one debates that emerging technologies like the internet and social media continue to accentuate this rupture and induce a series of negative manifestations varying from anxiety, depression, a sense of meaninglessness and existential angst – symptoms that were completely alien to past cultures. (more…)


7. ArchViz Theory – A Gentle Introduction to Nostalgia

Our site’s description page states that ‘our images have been appreciated for their distinct nostalgic and melancholic aesthetic.’ It is also obvious that the studio’s name and visual identity draws inspiration from Norse mythology. “Wyrd” is an Old English word for ‘fate’ or ‘personal destiny’, which also corresponds to the Old Norse “urðr” of similar meaning and a rich mythological substrate. (more…)


ArchViz Theory – 6. Representing Concreteness

1. ARCHITECTURAL VISUALS – MORE THAN STAGE SETS FOR THE EYE
In the previous article we discussed the role played by our senses while exploring a particular landscape. Now we will turn our attention to the process of representation and find concrete ways in which a Visualiser can evoke tactile cues through 3D renderings or other types of computer generated imagery. (more…)


ArchViz Theory – 5. Brief Introduction to Phenomenology

1. BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO PHENOMENOLOGY
For practical purposes, I have divided the creative processes involved in the production of architectural visualisations into two categories: first – the exploration of the particular landscape that needs to be represented; second – the graphic representation of the landscape. In this article I will focus on the exploration part, as I did in the previous two.

After discussing the sublime phenomenon, it’s time to reflect on the role played by our senses in the process of exploring and understanding something about the landscape we wish to represent. Our goal is to make art, therefore a phenomenological approach will be more relevant to our endeavour than, say, a reductionist one. (more…)


ArchViz Theory – 4. Exploration and the Sublime

1. EXPLORING THE LANDSCAPE
The main goal of the Architectural Visualiser is to represent a particular landscape in a creative way. But why would anyone think that visualisation is about landscape? Many see it as being related to a particular 3D object – the building or public space that needs to be advertised, treated like a jewel, an abstract object that needs to be shown in all its beauty and shininess. The problem with this approach is that it involves very little creativity. A 3D object is already known. It was designed by the architect, who decided its particular shape and materiality, so what can you do about it other than use some light sources to get a nice contrast? Not much. On the other hand, relating to ArchViz in terms of ‘landscape’ opens up many more possibilities. Landscape is distant and unknown; you are required to explore it in order to represent it. This is the first task of the Architectural Visualiser, and it’s not at all obvious how this can be accomplished. I believe a phenomenological approach can offer many insights into this topic, and for this I will (more…)


ArchViz Theory – 3. Landscape and Transformation

As finite beings, we perceive the world around us through a range of mediators. The goal of perception is by no means to offer an accurate image of the world, but rather to help us survive, orient in space and make use of what is around us. Furthermore, neuroscientists tell us that our brains filter perception so that only a small fraction of it reaches our consciousness – that which is relevant to our goals and purposes. Even that information can be overwhelming, so in our cognitive endeavors we simplify the things we see around us, grouping them in categories based on various criteria of utility. The words we use are not descriptors of objective reality, but rather tools that help us getting from A to B.

As architects or landscape designers, we operate with even more specific categories which allow us to (more…)


ArchViz Theory – 2. Art vs. Political Statement

An ArchViz studio should have a distinct vision and a set of core values. What do these images that you produce mean to you? What do you aim to achieve by creating them? Is your desire to make art, be creative and express your inner self? Or is it to contribute to a better society and make a political statement? The profession is often criticised from a political and socio-economic point of view, so I thought I should dedicate an article to this antithesis – visualisasion as art vs. political statement.

Art is first of all contemplative (more…)