Incredible lighting, shining finishes, healthy trees, and properly positioned human figures seem to be the perfect kit for a good and traditional image of architecture, which, however, is not always representative of reality or context. We are accustomed to thinking of renderings as visions of future buildings, occupied and in use, which serve to sell or convince customers of the worth of a project. But what if rendered images also helped us understand the construction, systems, and functioning of some parts of the building? We talked to two professionals who have developed images that are both beautiful and explanatory.
To understand a section or a plan, two-dimensional drawings often work incredibly well. These are abstractions of reality, but they adequately communicate all aspects for understanding a project, including its dimensions, materials, and systems. But when it comes to details, the various overlays of layers and materials can make the design seem somewhat confusing, even to trained eyes. For products and systems that are still unknown to us, this issue is even more consequential. Some construction companies have noticed this weakness in the way they communicate, and have developed detailed and rendered cuts that more clearly explain the particularities of construction products and systems.
Jason Yana, from Jason Yana Studios, helps manufacturers of building materials and products increase their sales using three-dimensional visualizations, animated videos, and 3D details. His backstory is pertinent and fascinating: when he started working in Chicago in the 1990's, after graduating with a degree in architecture, the only way to get information about products was through print media, usually marketed with grainy photographs and uninspiring or overly complicated two-dimensional drawings. His dissatisfaction with the terrible graphic resources presented by the industry in catalogs pushed him to develop a new language, which he has been developing ever since. "It all started with what I call three-dimensional detail, which took the photorealistic rendering that was being used only at the time to make beautiful images of finished buildings and applied that to take construction details and make them easily understandable and beautiful."
Steven Emerson, a freelance designer, and animator from the UK, has also worked with several brands, including some construction companies. According to him:
Understanding the internal parts of any building or product is especially important when specifying a product. Modeling and rendering are very important in this area, as they help to visualize rather than imagine. In addition to the visual aspect, they can also be used to test and simulate different properties and scenarios according to the requirements.
Both professionals seek to develop images or videos that provide the greatest possible understanding of the construction systems to all the parties involved. Whether it is the way a thermal insulator is attached to a wall, or how a metal tile is anchored to the roof lumber, such graphics bring levels of detail that would hardly be achievable in common two-dimensional designs.
I had a teacher who used to say that, as an architect, the more you know about the technical aspects of how things fit together and work, the more powerful you are. It is stimulating to understand what is between these walls and behind the beautiful finishes. More knowledge and a deeper understanding of construction systems only contribute. Whether we intend to create stronger buildings, more efficient buildings, more responsible buildings, knowledge is always power and a means to these ends.
Says Jason Yana, who concurs:
If architects are presented with a beautiful option and an ugly option, they will always choose the beautiful. And that includes everything that usually remains hidden in the building's 'bowels'.
This same reasoning could be used for designers. When designing three-dimensional details, and didactic graphics for customers and builders, many of the problems that will occur on the construction site might be observed and resolved in the early stages. We all know that communication reduces the risk of noise. With drawings, this is also true.
This article is part of the ArchDaily Topic: Rendering, proudly presented by Enscape, the most intuitive real-time rendering and virtual reality plugin for Revit, SketchUp, Rhino, Archicad, and Vectorworks. Enscape plugs directly into your modeling software, giving you an integrated visualization and design workflow.’ Learn more about our monthly topics. As always, at ArchDaily we welcome the contributions of our readers; if you want to submit an article or project, contact us.