Re: Re: Design Conceptualisation: The Rise of CAD

Home Forums Ireland Design Conceptualisation: The Rise of CAD Re: Re: Design Conceptualisation: The Rise of CAD


What does your response above have to do with the quote of mine that you extracted? I just saw your reply today but can’t see any connection. The point I was making was that the involvement of a third party would hopefully add a measure of objectivity to the process, rather than the devil citing scripture for his own purpose, so to speak. It was nothing to do with a capability disconnection between designer and technology. Am I misreading you?

No, you are not misreading me, but I will take some time to draw on a few more points. Where is the budget to pay the non-objective third party visualist going to come from? Lets get the history straight here. If you do go back far enough, or know anyone involved in computer-aided visual impact assessment in the early days – I am talking about the 1980s and early 1990s – they marketed themselves to do the kind of job you describe. But they didn’t get anywhere. After a while, more and more graphic designers and CG people came on the scene looking for work. Their background primarily in producing ‘commerical art’. Those artists have not got the training and simply don’t appreciate the distinction you are making. These later, artistically trained visualists realised it was easy to go to auctioneers, and get some of that nice juicy ‘marketing’ budget associated with large developments. Why wouldn’t they jump at such an opportunity? But what it did, was bury that early breed of visualist who cared about the impact of the development on the environment – it became all about ‘pixel pushing’, and nothing to do with physical reality.

I had quite an interesting discussion with a pixel pusher on this thread:

I don’t know, I think the design of that facade was abominable, and I hope the planners stopped it. But when I tried to raise the point, it was a bad image to be using in the ‘Finished Work’ critique, I got into a much longer discussion about the purpose of visualisation in general.

But the fact remains that the world still needs renderers and that our job, usually, is to help with project marketing.

But, foolishly again, I will try to make it clear to you that I do NOT really care about the input an architect made in any given rendering. You seem worried that the ‘architect’ will get squeezed right out of the architectural rendering. I’m fine with ural rendering. I hope to shift my client-base away from architects and towards owners/developers.

The fellow I banged heads with there, is from a long family of American Architectural Illustrators, and if you take the time to read through the thead, you will get the jist of things. I appreciate where he was coming from, but I also think there are dangers in what he is saying. I will leave it up to yourself to make up your own mind though. In conclusion, Computer-aided architectural Visualisation started as a kind of third party imaging service, that would be an exact representation of the final product. This comes from the traditions of rapid prototyping in industrial and mechanical design. Where you make a first prototype version of your widget, to test out a physical object, rather than a drawing. But after a while, the artists just exchanged their watercolours and air brushes for colour printers and silicon chips. Like how digital photography is replacing film negatives. The digital artists with no appreciation for architecture often, did the work fast and cheap. They didn’t understand anything about impact assessment or scale of buildings or the appearance of materials. They managed to push out the earlier kind of visualist – the one who cared about the impact of the building. The rest is history. Architects were caught badly, napping, here I feel – and they sacrificed ‘market share’ in the area of visualisation, to a bunch of pixel-pushers. Architects who tried to learn to push some pixels were soon pushed out of their own profession.

The biggest trouble with artistically trained Architectural Visualists, now doing the visualisation – is they need to be dictated to – by somebody. As I said, it is like the early days in computing, where you had your high priests who took care of the ‘machine’ and people who approached the high priests by arriving at a service counter, and dictating instructions on cards. But that stage of mainframe computing did not last for ever. Eventually the person dictating an instruction, became frustrated by this service counter ‘barrier’ between themselves and the machine. Eventually, that barrier was removed, and then more and more barriers became removed. Until eventually you can interact with the machine – as we have today – have a kind of basic conversation with it. We can go even further, to where the computer and the human being become one and the same. I talked to planners before at Cyburbia about visualisation, and came to the conclusion – that local authorities don’t get the kind of budget necessary to use visualisation tools. Or even to employ others to undertake visualisation studies. Here is a good thread on Planners using Photoshop etc, a simple tools they seem to manage quite well:

Here is a thread where I really challenged them, and got to the conclusion, as about lack of resources and what not.

I’m not sure what you are getting at. Are you trying to insult some of us? I don’t think you are, but the way you wrote your post isn’t exactly the best way to invite some of us to engage in a productive discussion about using Photoshop and improving our technique.

But fair enough, the planners didn’t appreciate much what I had suggested. But at the same time, the planners seemed to get a grip on Photoshop and Corel Draw, which is a hell of a lot more than many architects do.

Brian O’ Hanlon.

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