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Virtual Classes: Will 3D Models Replace Hand Drawn Renderings?

Virtual Classes: Will 3D Models Replace Hand Drawn Renderings?
Render simulating a concrete model. Image © Arq. Julio Andrés Pinedo Agudelo
Render simulating a concrete model. Image © Arq. Julio Andrés Pinedo Agudelo

2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic forced architectural students around the world to go virtual with their classes and coursework, transforming the way architecture was both taught and learned. Once based primarily on in-class participation, and collaboration, architectural workshops had to take on whole new methods of instruction. Conversations and debates between students and their instructors, a key element of architectural education were relegated to phone and video calls as well as written documents, making digital formatting an essential tool for students to share their ideas and receive feedback on their work.

Visualizing an idea is an essential part of the design process and allows students to share their proposals with their peers and their teachers as well as allowing themselves to glimpse the strengths and weaknesses of their design. These visuals represent communication, observation, and intention. During the first years of architectural school, analogical means of illustration, like drawings and models, are the go-to for students to express their ideas, especially since digital tools tend to be in short supply and often water down the process of developing ideas. These initial stages of architectural education are a time to learn how to "think" about architecture rather than how to "present" it. 

This digitalization of architectural renderings is a constant process that continues year after year. Nowadays, few studios work with hand-drawn renderings (Flores & Prats are an exception) because of the time they require. Even though technological developments in architectural visualization are constantly being made, the virtualization of education during 2020 changing undoubtedly accelerated the process.

This begs the question--will digital renders take the place of mock-ups and drawings in the design process?

Without a doubt, in some architectural classrooms, yes. There's little sense in creating a model that you won't present in a physical classroom or hand-drawing an idea only to scan and upload it for review. Immersive virtual models, animations of interiors, and digital mock-ups (literally, two dimensional renders that simulate a physical mock-up) serve as much more effective means for communicating ideas through a screen; however, how this effects the design process remains to be seen. For now, all we can do is offer the best tools and resources possible for digitally creating and presenting your architectural ideas.

Axonometric and Aerial Perspectives

Reflections on location, strategies for implementation and relating to the environment. 

Smithsonian Masterplan / BIG. Image © Brck Visual
Smithsonian Masterplan / BIG. Image © Brck Visual

Perspective Cuts

Relations between constructed and exterior spaces, interior development as it relates to the external environment. 

Salesforce Transit Center / Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. Image © Steelblue
Salesforce Transit Center / Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. Image © Steelblue

Interior Perspectives

Atmospheres, proposals for interior spatiality. 

Cosserzil - Finalist Project in the Kaira Looro International Architecture Competition. Image © MDB Studio
Cosserzil - Finalist Project in the Kaira Looro International Architecture Competition. Image © MDB Studio

Constructional cuts and quartering

Materiality, building material, structural elements, fixture resolutions.

On the left Cultural Village by Petras Architecture, on the right Music School of Chetham by Stephenson ISA Studio. Image © Petras Architecture | ISA Studio
On the left Cultural Village by Petras Architecture, on the right Music School of Chetham by Stephenson ISA Studio. Image © Petras Architecture | ISA Studio

Exterior Perspectives

Urban planning, general morphology, external materiality.

Proyecto ganador del concurso para el Museo de Prehistoria y Arqueología de Cantabria. Image Cortesía de Mendoza Partida
Proyecto ganador del concurso para el Museo de Prehistoria y Arqueología de Cantabria. Image Cortesía de Mendoza Partida

Horizontal Sections and Layouts

Program Organization and Functional Distribution.

Diseño de Krft para el nuevo edificio de artes escénicas de Brighton College en Reino Unido. Image Cortesía de Krft
Diseño de Krft para el nuevo edificio de artes escénicas de Brighton College en Reino Unido. Image Cortesía de Krft

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.

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Cite: Maiztegui, Belén. "Virtual Classes: Will 3D Models Replace Hand Drawn Renderings?" [Clases virtuales: ¿Podrán los modelos 3D y renders reemplazar a las maquetas y los dibujos a mano?] 05 May 2021. ArchDaily. (Trans. Johnson, Maggie) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/960700/virtual-classes-will-3d-models-replace-hand-drawn-renderings> ISSN 0719-8884
Render simulating a concrete model. Image © Arq. Julio Andrés Pinedo Agudelo

3D模型会替代手绘渲染吗?

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