Urban Fold

Rendering an Argument: How Illustrations Shape Development Debates

Elizabeth A. Harris looks at how architectural renderings are used to sway opinion on development projects. Such tools aren't unique to our digital age, but have a much longer pedigree.

"An architectural rendering is a premonition of sorts, an illustration of what a park or a bridge, an apartment building or an office tower, might look like, even before the first splash of concrete licks the ground," writes Harris. "But its most important mission is not to show the girth of a building’s footprint or the shape of the windows; it is to gin up enthusiasm for a project, or to incite resistance."

"So the real purpose of these drawings is not to predict the future," she adds. "Their real goal is to control it."

Full Story: Art for Argument’s Sake

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