The Architectural Image: Who's Fooling Whom?

The architectural image is the currency of contemporary architecture. It's the means by which projects are envisioned, sold, and judged. But is the quest for the perfect image harming Architecture?
June 8, 2013, 9am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"The idea of the perfect architectural image is not only propagated by professors who prioritize the rendering over its practical implications (causing students to spend hours perfecting visuals instead of perfecting the design), but also by the architecture media (and yes, we include ourselves in that category)," observes Vanessa Quirk. "Architecture media presents a flood of glossy shots that 'sell' an idealized architecture to the public and, frankly, architects themselves."

"In an age in which the rendering (and the architecture media in general) has already set expectations far higher than reality could achieve, is the realistic rendering (forgive the pun) rendered useless? Could a stylized rendering actually be bad for the project, and bad for architecture in general?"

"Should we attempt to present architecture as realistically as possible, in both images and renderings, in order to eliminate unrealistic expectations (for clients and ourselves)?"

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Published on Thursday, June 6, 2013 in Arch Daily
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