Render or Reality? Architecture visualization turns designers into interpreters of new worlds
Architectural visualization has become such a powerful and essential aspect of “design delivery” that it’s becoming difficult to distinguish what is truly real and existing in the physical world and what is merely a digital rendering. Before software such as Blender, V-Ray, Cinema 4D, and countless others were available, architects relied on sketches, drawings, and models to convey their designs in a “tangible” and “visually digestible” way for clients and collaborators to understand their 2D vision. However, with architectural technology continuously pushing the limits new opportunities showcasing what’s possible can be accomplished like never before.
In the fall of 2020, a design competition led by Arch Out Loud invited architects, students, and designers to flex their rendering skills and see whose work would be named “Render of the Year.” The architecture industry and its adjacent disciplines like film, music, video games, and even advertising communicate through ideas through a visual narrative. Rendering software and design ingenuity have expanded into these speculative worlds where an idea can come to life. Arch Out Loud’s inaugural “Render of the Year” competition allowed for designers to become storytellers. The competition aimed to find “compelling images that tell stories of architecture, interiors, cities, and worlds that could be.”
With a star-studded jury consisting of industry leaders from firms such as Kilograph, The Boundary, Metanoia, New Affiliates, Deborah Berke Partners, BIG, and AAmp Studio, among others, five projects were awarded the top prize in addition to a selection of honorable mentions. Below are the winning projects and their work.
Young Designer Award – “Platform for Imagined Ruins”
Undergrad Designer Winner: “Wrapped Tiananmen”
“Although designers continue to be equipped with better digital tools, making it easier to create images, there is still a great deal of craft in visualization. Designers must discern the ways people interpret their images. They must work with the feelings that emerge from an image. They must understand how to speak to their audience without words.” – Arch Out Loud
Interior Award Winner: “Education Station: The Village” and Exterior Award Winner: “Archive of Memories” by Nicolò Garonzi
According to the competition organizers, while digital rendering tools have made designing the impossible “possible” they explain, “there is still a great deal of craft in visualization. Designers must discern the ways people interpret their images. They must work with the feelings that emerge from an image. They must understand how to speak to their audience without words.” The 2021 Render of the Year competition is set to be released this summer.
To learn more about the competition and view additional Honorable Mention projects and Director’s Choice awards click here.