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Illustrations: The Latest Architecture and News

The History of the Penrose Stair and its Influence on Design

Stairs in architecture are oftentimes a design focal point- the heavyhandedness in creating something that moves us from one level to the next, up and down repeatedly, something so simple and familiar with a twist is what makes the experience of traversing a stair so unique. Our obsession with stairs and the level of illusion that they create in architecture perhaps stems from the way that they’re able to twist the optics and perceptions of space. We understand that they transport us in one direction or another, but can stairs ever be circular? Is it possible to go up and down for eternity? 

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.

Setting the Table: From the Ordinary Table to the Extraordinary Table

Setting the Table is an illustrated reflection by architects Florencia Köncke and Paula Olea Fonti. In the following paragraphs, the authors develop a first approach to the study of the table as "the centre of our notion of domesticity"(1). In the relationship between space, objects and people and as a social catalyst for gathering and exchange.

Rendering Styles: Different Techniques and How to Achieve Them

Renders are representations that can convey the three-dimensional aspect of a design through two-dimensional media, i.e., an image, providing a preview of how the project will look in the future. However, unlike what people often imagine, rendering is not always a realistic visualization of architecture.

Since it is a tool for visual communication, renderings can have different styles depending not only on the project itself but also on the specific targeted audience and, above all, on the identity of the architect or architectural firm responsible for the design.

Courtesy of BIGCourtesy of Epic Games© Conjuntos Empáticos© Guillaume Ramillien Architecture + Boris Bouchet Architectes+ 12

A Free Tool to Create Textures for Architectural Images

All too often, architects and designers spend hours searching for textures and materials to represent their visions. This struggle takes many forms: from scrolling through Google, Pinterest, and databases in search of the perfect texture, to manually creating one over the course of several hours, or even days. In either case, the result is frequently painful, and rarely perfect. A database organized, reliable, free and easy to use is not always a simple thing to find.

Architextures began in 2014 as a library of high-quality image files, with textures submitted by users or created by the platform itself. Over time, the platform’s creator Ryan Canning noticed that, in his professional work as an architect, the array of static image files available online did not meet the specific textures he was looking for in his design projects. Frustrated with the endless process of searching, editing and overlaying textures in Photoshop, Ryan reinvented Architextures in 2019 as an interactive tool where designers like himself could create specified, high-quality textures in seconds. And importantly, being free to use for personal and educational use, with professional accounts available for a small fee to support the tool’s development.

Courtesy of ArchitexturesCourtesy of ArchitexturesCourtesy of ArchitexturesCourtesy of Architextures+ 14

Nvard Yerkanian Brings Armenia's Modernist Architecture to Life

Armenian graphic designer and illustrator Nvard Yerkanian has created a new series exploring modernist architecture in Armenia. The illustration series aims to reveal the beauty and value of modernism to the public through the power of colors that accentuate the simple yet fantastic forms of these monuments. The series is an ode to the architectural heritage that has been lost and undervalued.

© Nvard Yerkanian© Nvard Yerkanian© Nvard Yerkanian© Nvard Yerkanian+ 15

Frederico Babina Simplifies Architecture Through His New 'Ideograrch' Series

Frederico Babina is an Italian architect and graphic designer who creates artwork that focuses on the abstract replications of famous imagery and buildings. Through a strong focus on geometry and form his work represents a sense of innocence, inexperience and spontaneity throughout.

12 Steps to a Successful Critique

Juries, assessments, 15 minutes of hell... no matter what you call it, a critique is always agonizing. Regardless of how confident you are with your proposal and how much thought and effort you have put into every detail, at least one of the jury members will make sure to find something to complain about.

To prepare you for upcoming juries, artist Chanel Dehond has illustrated 12 steps to having a successful critique (or surviving one, at least).

The Petty Crimes of Architects

Everyone is blameworthy for at least one bad habit / behavior at his/her workplace: talking on the phone too loudly, stealing someone else's mug, walking around the office with a very odorous lunch...

After a little reunion with her friends who work in the architecture field, illustrator Chanel Dehond couldn't help but notice a few "crimes" that almost all architects are guilty of.

Take a look at Dehond's illustrations of the petty crimes done by architects and designers.

Federico Babina's "Planimal" Reimagines Architectural Plans as Animals

Italian artist Federico Babina has published the latest in his impressive portfolio of architectural illustrations. “Planimal” seeks to convey the close link between architecture and the natural world, translating animals into architectural plans. Through his set of drawings, Babina reimagines the architectural spaces as “narrative subjects that host us and lead us into a fantastic labyrinth of a dreamlike reality, architectures imagined as allusively zoomorphic sculptures.”

Houses, museums, and churches are conveyed as roaring lions, crawling snakes, and swimming whales, with dynamic spaces formed from cocktails of asymmetries and symmetries, curves and straight lines, solids and voids, sounds and silences, lights and shadows.

© Federico Babina© Federico Babina© Federico Babina© Federico Babina+ 26

Easter Egg Hunt: Architecture Edition

Now that it's time for the Easter Holidays, kids (and young-at-heart adults) will be busy searching for colorful eggs hidden here and there. As for you architecture lovers, illustrator Chanel Dehond took egg hunts to the next level and found a way to make the activity a bit more relatable.

Take a look at Dehond's eggceptional collection of illustrations, inspired by some of your favorite structures from all over the world.

© Chanel Dehond© Chanel Dehond© Chanel Dehond© Chanel Dehond+ 22

Federico Babina's IKONICITY Takes You Around The World In 21 Illustrations

The clever Italian artist, Federico Babina is at it again, and this time he's taking us around the world in 21 animated illustrations. Hear the ringing of Big Ben, sirens in New York, seagulls of Amsterdam, and Havana drums as you find yourself adding to your travel bucket list. You'll have to watch this animation more than once to catch all of the details Babina captures about an entire city culture in one illustration. Or view each illustration individually below.

Federico Babina's PORTRART Illustrations Tells a Story Within a Portrait

Federico Babina, the illustrator behind the series of popular architectural interpretations including ARCHITALE and ARCHIPLAY, has just released his latest project: PORTRART, 35 illustrations that tell 35 short stories describing and relating to the individual personalities of 35 artists.

"The shapes, the sculpted and painted geometries of the artists are transformed to draw their faces," explains Babina. Each composition portrays a realistic fantasy in a series of geometric shapes around a central matrix, the portrait. 

Babina continues, "The project attempts to visualize the likeness, personality, and capture the essential features of the protagonist through simple lines, geometries, color, and ink. The idea is to achieve an almost abstract representation without losing the essence of figurative representation." 

See all the portraits after the break.

Step Up Your Sketches With These Basic Principles Of Two-Point Perspective

You may know about Lynda.com, the online education platform that hosts thousands of video courses for learning how to use software. But did you know that Lynda also has some great drawing, animation, and design courses? The best part (if you're a current student or local library card owner)? Lynda can be accessed for free from many universities, colleges, and libraries! If your backpack-toting, library-visiting days are behind you, the platform offers a free 10-day trial. 

If you're looking to perfect your ability to capture or project building interiors and exteriors, Amy Wynne's hour-long course "Drawing 2-Point Perspective" is a solid option.

"Architecture of the Portrait": Illustrations by Francisca Álvarez Ainzúa

Chilean architect and illustrator Francisca Álvarez Ainzúa created "Architecture of the Portrait": a series of illustrations of renowned architects drawn with the precision and accuracy of a fineliner. In order to choose the protagonists of her geometrical analyses, the architect states a preference for strong character and the presence of imperfections, which imparts a certain richness to the representation.

The architectural construction of the face is done using lines to create a hatch effect. Next, she adds color that pays tribute to the traditional default CAD shades: yellow, cyan and magenta.

Tadao Ando. Image © Francisca Álvarez AinzúaZaha Hadid. Image © Francisca Álvarez AinzúaTeodoro Fernández. Image © Francisca Álvarez AinzúaMies Van Der Rohe. Image © Francisca Álvarez Ainzúa+ 6