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.
Relations between constructed and exterior spaces, interior development as it relates to the external environment.
Atmospheres, proposals for interior spatiality.
Constructional cuts and quartering
Materiality, building material, structural elements, fixture resolutions.
Urban planning, general morphology, external materiality.
Horizontal Sections and Layouts
Program Organization and Functional Distribution.
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.