architectural visualisation / design / digital art

Architectural Theory

ArchViz Theory – 4. Exploration and the Sublime

1. Exploring the Landscape
The main goal of the Architectural Visualiser is to represent a particular landscape in a creative way. But why would anyone think that visualisation is about landscape? Many see it as being related to a particular 3D object – the building or public space that needs to be advertised, treated like a jewel, an abstract object that needs to be shown in all its beauty and shininess. The problem with this approach is that it involves very little creativity. A 3D object is already known. It was designed by the architect, who decided its particular shape and materiality, so what can you do about it other than use some light sources to get a nice contrast? Not much. On the other hand, relating to ArchViz in terms of ‘landscape’ opens up many more possibilities. Landscape is distant and unknown; you are required to explore it in order to represent it. This is the first task of the Architectural Visualiser, and it’s not at all obvious how this can be accomplished. I believe a phenomenological approach can offer many insights into this topic, and for this I will (more…)


ArchViz Theory – 3. Landscape is Fluid

As finite beings, we perceive the world around us through a range of mediators. The goal of perception is by no means to offer an accurate image of the world, but rather to help us survive, orient in space and make use of what is around us. Furthermore, neuroscientists tell us that our brains filter perception so that only a small fraction of it reaches our consciousness – that which is relevant to our goals and purposes. Even that information can be overwhelming, so in our cognitive endeavors we simplify the things we see around us, grouping them in categories based on various criteria of utility. The words we use are not descriptors of objective reality, but rather tools that help us getting from A to B.

As architects or landscape designers, we operate with even more specific categories which allow us to (more…)


ArchViz Theory – 2. Art vs. Political Statement

An ArchViz studio should have a distinct vision and a set of core values. What do these images that you produce mean to you? What do you aim to achieve by creating them? Is your desire to make art, be creative and express your inner self? Or is it to contribute to a better society and make a political statement? The profession is often criticised from a political and socio-economic point of view, so I thought I should dedicate an article to this antithesis – visualisasion as art vs. political statement.

Art is first of all contemplative (more…)


ArchViz Theory – 1. An Introduction

Almost two decades ago Architectural Visualisation became an independent field, with many emerging studios focusing exclusively on it, having no involvement in the design process. Traditionally, the visual representation of an architectural project (more…)


Case Study – Sunshine (2007) – Fascinating vs. Terrifying Sublime

The movie ‘Sunshine’ illustrates the concept of ‘sublime‘ better than anything else I came across so far. It emphasises every aspect of it and in the end it presents two typical reactions humans have when confronted with greatness beyond comprehension. If you haven’t watched it, please be aware this article contains spoilers. (more…)


The Aesthetic Category of ‘Sublime’

Since my approach on art is heavily influenced by the aesthetic category of ‘sublime’, I’m posting a short article that will hopefully help others to become familiarised with this concept and expand their creativity.
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Strolling through Canary Wharf

Among the many places I like in London, Canary Wharf is one of the most distinctive. Walking through its deserted streets on early evenings is one of the weirdest experiences. Its vast glazed facades reflected in the canals, its eclectic postmodern offices, its low claustrophobic basement malls, frozen in the glossy architectural cliches of the 90s offer a sensation of otherness unlike any other place.  (more…)