For a number of years now, human architects have had the ability to input information into computers to express designs. Often times, the results have been skewed, I believe, by the slickness of the architectural imagery comes out of a dialogue with a computer. I feel that the clients of these computer architects would be better served as with the architect producing imagery that connects on a more human level with the client who is often times a businessperson, visually unconscious but somehow knowing of what is good on some intuitive level. I think it’s that intuitive level that needs to be addressed in architect client collaboration. And when this is done right, I believe a better architecture will come of this. My company, SAI, Works in the gap between an experienced and seasoned hand-drawn artist and with what digital is capable of doing. There is a merging of the two approaches and this leads to a more humanistic visualizatiion that produces images that are tactile and connect with the more intuitive and human side of architect’s client thus leading to better architecture and better professional relationships; and relationships that last.
Hybrid architectural renderings. What are they? I began playing with the idea in the late 90s having been asked to do a rendering of a new design for an SOM designed office building in downtown Portland. The architect, Yost Grube Hall (YGH) and developer were looking for a certain amount of realism but didn’t want hyperrealism. They wanted drama.
I had just begun combining photography with my illustrations and fine art. . . but I’m not talking about photomontage. I was talking about flavoring of a photographic image using traditional media and utilizing what I’ve learned about creating dramatic architectural images.
I was able to utilize the technique of drawing on prints using traditional media. In my case it was Prismacolor pencil. So I took the wire frame the architect created and inserted it into the photograph the architect gave me the facade of the existing building. Created an image that was uniform in feel and technique. This was the beginning for me using a ‘hybrid’ approach. But it wasn’t until I began collaborating with expert computer 3-D people began to realize the potential of going beyond the bland, lifeless and sterile digital imagery that have become ubiquitous in the architectural field. It’s this kind of uniformity of feel in the creation of texture that adds a kind of tactility to the image that creates the human connection for me. In addition, my years of experience creating traditional renderings schooled me in the art of composition and selective emphasis that is vital to the understanding of an architectural image to even a layperson.
This sketch is a good example of SAI’s ‘non-commited’ conceptual and colorful style.
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