The fifth and final post on this year’s Design Week, an annual Payette tradition when we as a firm collectively explore projects we have worked on during the previous twelve months. This year’s presentations centered around the tools we use to process, iterate and discover at every level of design – Diagram, Models, Parametrics, Detail and Rendering.
The architectural rendering owes much of its preeminence to the invention of perspective. When we compare the origins of the terms perspective and rendering, we begin to see the nature of our work in producing architectural imagery – a continuous looping process of looking through and giving back. This back and forth of looking within and projecting out must reconcile both the informative requirements and emotive desires. Our design work is a constant process of oscillation between perfecting technique and refining an idea to its ultimate reality, and then looking outward to tell that story to an audience.
The oscillating roles of visual representation requires us to face several questions simultaneously, the first of these being: What is it we are showing? Who is it for? When are we making these images? Once these initial questions are answered, we then need to know how we will make these images and what technique we will use for representation of our ideas. The most important question to ask ourselves at this point is: What is our intent with each visual representation we produce?
Thomas Jefferson University’s Biomedical Research Building will be located at the primary intersection of a very dense campus. The building will be a flagship for the university and the gateway to their research corridor. Rendering tools emphasize elements that create connection between the new building and the campus, one being the extension of the green space of an adjacent park.
The National Coast Guard Museum will be sited on a reclaimed piece of coastline on the New London, Connecticut waterfront. The new landmark will part of the historic heart of the city, which is also a major transportation hub.
For Hengqin General Hospital, renderings were used for the design competition to tell a story and to invoke response about nature and the built environment, capturing the essence of the beautiful landscape of Hengqin.
What is most compelling about this image is the decision represent a sudden downpour from a sunshower. This intangible move, unrelated to the fact of the design, tells so much about the logic and intent of the work. Rendering at its best is a process of visual story telling. The best stories often contain an element of fiction and no matter how much the forces in our profession push us towards photorealism, the art of rendering is found in the places where it is not purely narrating reality.