From Digital Collage to Hand Sketches: Find Inspiration for Your Next Architectural Visualizations

With an increasing amount of architectural visualizations being published on social media, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Adding this to how the famous algorithm works, we end up always being exposed to social media publications that are, in many ways, similar to each other. But for us as architects, designers, and students, social media is not only a platform for networking and sharing our works. It also serves as a source of inspiration. If the algorithm isn’t helping us to discover new and different ideas, then it’s up to us to go out of our way and look for them.

If you were to search #architecturevisualization on Instagram, you'd notice that a large amount of the images that appear are hyper-realistic renderings that do a very good job of blurring the lines between photography and render. Don't get me wrong, hyper-realistic renders are necessary. As architects, it's easy for us to understand drawings and illustrations that are more conceptual. Though, our clients, the people we design for, don't always find it as easy. Here is where photo-realistic renders come in handy. They help give a clear idea of how the project will look once it's finished. Of course, the more realistic they look in that case, the easier it is for anyone to understand them. But are there other ways that we can convey the idea, looks, and feels of the architectural project that isn’t necessarily photo-realistic?

For this month’s ArchDaily Topic of The Future of Architectural Visualizations, and as a source of inspiration, we’re bringing you a list of 5 people whose work on Instagram deviates from the more common hyper-realistic renders. We’ve also asked them to give us their answer to the question: How do you think architectural visualizations will change in the near future?

Juan Barrios Duarte

JBD: Although I think photo-realistic rendering will continue to play a key role in helping clients visualize projects, I do believe architectural visualization will increasingly migrate towards a more sensorial approach in order to nourish emotional connection and provide multilayered visual experiences centered on how clients will feel instead of on how each project will look.

Mohammed Bilbeisi

MB: Architectural visualizations will evolve as they did since antiquity and dramatically after the invention of Linear Perspective by Brunelleschi. I truly believe that nothing revolutionary will occur until humans or machines develop a new and radical method/ a paradigm shift for communicating design intent. The drawing tools are evolving and will further evolve, however, the outcome will remain the same … depicting three-dimensional space onto a two-dimensional surface as a complex optical relationship between figure and figure/ground.

Maddie Uhl

MU: Due to the rapid growth of technology, architectural visualizations have changed so much already and will continue to change. Having the ability to create through the use of multiple software and mediums has been very freeing. I believe this will only continue expanding in the future, especially as resources and inspiration become more accessible.

Lloyd Martin

LM: I believe the visualization techniques will drift away from the pastel-colored fever dreams of yesteryear, into a more grounded and thought-provoking approach that paints an idyllic scenery whilst remaining rooted in a sense of realness. This could manifest in two directions, one being a more back to basics hand sketched or painted expression, bringing the architecture back into the discussion, relying less on the manifested emotions induced by fantastical imagery. And the other will be a completely immersive experience that engages the clients in a more visceral experience such as embedding the architecture into a stylized computer game environment, allowing more direct interaction between client and design.

Lin Yang

LY: I’m thinking architectural visualization would get the opportunity to transfer from 2D to 3D with emerging VR and Metaverse related technology, it would be very exciting if people could get an immersive experience of stunning visualization drawings in the future.

These are just 5 of the many Instagram accounts that take a rather different approach to architectural visualization. With Instagram having a more important role in the design process, we now have a large number of accounts sharing architectural renders. Each with its own unique touch. Whether it’s a digital collage, sketches, online video games, comics, or a combination of all of them, the type of architectural visualization you decide to use depends on your own personal taste, your audience, the type of project you intend to show, and what exactly it is you’re trying to communicate with your image.

This article is part of the ArchDaily Topics: The Future of Architectural Visualizations, 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.

Every month we explore a topic in-depth through articles, interviews, news, and projects. Learn more about our ArchDaily topics. As always, at ArchDaily we welcome the contributions of our readers; if you want to submit an article or project, contact us.

About this author
Cite: Brandon Koots. "From Digital Collage to Hand Sketches: Find Inspiration for Your Next Architectural Visualizations" 08 Apr 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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