Boutique Design - March/April 2010 - (Page 48)

T R E N D R E P O R T B Y B R I A N O R T E R Pixels Designers Weigh in on the Age-old Art of Drawing and the New-age Era of Renderings P hoto realistic renderings have become an obligatory part of the design process. We’ve come a long way since the Max Headroom (anyone?) wire renderings that took months to develop. “What used to take days, now takes hours,” noted HungYi Wang, AIA from Handel Architects in New York. The talent and technology allows for renderings that can barely be distinguished from the real thing. Delivering a realistic rendering too early may have some pitfalls, but is ultimately an extraordinary tool in delivering ideas to our clients. I set out to ask a few highly regarded professionals for their opinions and experiences on the matter. Realistic renderings versus hand drawings: what say you? Above and right: Drawing and computer rendering of BBG-BBGM’s Astra Montenegro complex Gregory Cranford, AIA, a principal at BBG-BBGM in New York City, feels that each method is useful. “I find it much better to use the computer when developing tower iconography, but even then, we begin with rough sketches that we almost always show the client,” he said. “If we go to realistic imagery too quickly, the clients miss the big idea and focus on detail.” On the St. Regis Resort in Hainan Island in Southern China, Cranford said: “The client did not respond well to the initial computer images. We went back to the drawing board, literally, and redesigned the concept using pencil sketches. The concept was very ethereal, based on the idea of the water dragon and the mountain dragon dancing together on the sand. The plan of the resort and the forms of the roofs reflected this concept. The soft rendering of the pencil sketches enhanced this imagery.” Clients I’ve spoken with expect realistic renderings during the latter part of the concept phase. They expect hand renderings to be included in the base fee and expect to pay about $1,500 for each computer rendering. A powerful developer in New York City (who asked to remain anonymous) noted that realistic renderings are a crucial marketing tool. “I would imagine that hand renderings express the idea better for the designer, but to the layman and general public, a realistic rendering 48 • boutique DESIGN march/april 2010 leaves less to the imagination,” he said. “Realistic renderings sometimes inadvertently make a promise regarding a concept design which may change gears over time. Hand sketches allow more flexibility.” Dan Southgate, a veteran 3D renderer, is seeing more architects wanting to involve him from the very beginning to visualize an idea. As the design develops, he keeps up with the changes. Improving on realism has been his focus of late. “The most important thing is to keep a common thread with all the renderings within a single project,” he said. I have noticed over the past 20 years that realistic renderings have a tendency to stunt the design process. In my own experiences, decisions have been made to keep a less-than-desirable portion of a design intact to avoid the risk of presenting a new rendering that has already “sold.” When asked if realistic renderings lock in the design, preventing further change, Southgate responded with a firm, “Absolutely.” “Unfortunately, many clients want to see every face lit, no shadows, reflections toned down and no sun spots,” he said. “It makes for such an uninspired rendering. They should be kept for the design phase and never published or used for marketing.” He explained that the creative team should be allowed some freedom to play with shadow and light, which often results in a happy client and better rendering. When creatively developing concepts, most agree that a careful journey of hand drawings leading into photo realism is a good strategy. Computers are great tools, but they have a hard time expressing intent. The softness of a pencil or the pressure of a pen can tell a greater story than a fully-furnished realistic rendering. It seems best to combine both mediums at the concept phase while guiding the client to a finished, marketable, realistic rendering. BD Brian Orter has been a lighting designer for over 17 years. Formerly the director of a large design firm, Brian is the owner of Brian Orter Lighting Design, LLC. To contact Brian, visit Above: Custom light fixtures decorate SHO; The wine gallery leading into the lounge area Photos courtesy of Brennan Beer Gorman/Architects, LLP Pencils vs.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Boutique Design - March/April 2010

Boutique Design - March/April 2010
Table Of Contents
Hyatt Opens First Andaz Hotel On Wall Street In NYC
Brintons Announces Second Collection With Scottish Duo
AB Concept In Hong Kong Creates The French Window, Overlooking The Harbor
Washington D.C. Celebrates Revamped Design Center
Q&A With Kit Kemp, On How She Successfully Brought Firmdale Hotels To The U.S. With The Crosby Street
Adam Tihany Delivers Las Vegas’ First Mandarin Oriental After A Collective Deep Breath, CityCenter Opens And Adam Tihany Delivers Las Vegas’ First Mandarin Oriental
World By Design
Fathom Creative Turns A Dilapidated Brake Shop Into New Multi-Use Space For Art, Business, Life And Inspiration
German Theorist And Author, Boris Groys, Discusses His Book, Art Power And The Idea Of Tourists As Architects As Part Of This Month’s Inspiration
Designer Meetups Hosts Big Wigs In Design To Share Inspiration And Discuss Trends In Informal, Open Environments
Brian Orter Weighs In On The Popular Debate In The Design Community About Hand Drawings Versus Realistic Computer Renderings
EnVogue: BD Brings You Snapshots
Bath And Spa:
Calender/Advertisers Index

Boutique Design - March/April 2010