Architecture firms are loaded with responsibilities and obligations that all funnel towards the design and execution of beautiful buildings. The foundation lying beneath all of it is the ability to draw, visualize, and present ideas in a way that people who don’t have a lifetime of experience at their backs.
Whether an architect is trying to communicate their ideas to a client, consultant, contractor, jury panel, or the general public, their ability to conjure effective visuals always lies at the heart of the problem.
3D rendering is something every architecture firm should be investing in because it is the conduit between what they are thinking and what they want everyone else to understand. It can be the difference between following through with the design intent or falling victim to something not being built correctly because it wasn’t properly communicated.
Here are 5 ways in which architecture firms can invest in 3D rendering, and, as a result, make better architecture.
Perhaps the most obvious way architects can invest in 3D rendering is to hire capable freelancers who work on a per project, flat fee basis. They offer the ability to create professional-level renderings and visualizations, while remaining flexible in the face of fast-approaching deadlines and presentations.
Using job-finding services such as Easy Render or UpWork is the best way to connect with talented individuals who can work within your design budget. These services allow architects and designers to browse potential freelancers, connect with them directly, and contract work that is quality-ensured. Before long, you can collect a small team of rendering talent to pick and choose from depending on availability, skill, and cost.
Competitions are not only great for landing high-profile architecture work, they allow your firm to exercise design and presentation skills they might not otherwise get an opportunity to practice. Entering competitions is a team-building activity that might just lead to the big break for your design business.
However, competitions can be a costly investment with a low chance of paying off in a design fee. But, an investment it is, and one that can - at the very least - be used to create rendering and visualization content that helps your firm land work in the future. No work is done in futility, and everything can be used to promote your abilities and build up a body of content that will always look good on a website.
Investing in your employees continued education is vital to cultivating a workforce that is constantly on the bleeding edge of technology, design trends, and software innovation. And while it’s not always easy to have workers slave away on unbillable hours, it will pay off in the long run in the form of a finely tuned architectural machine.
Rendering and visualization should be a key cog in this machine. Be sure to keep programs like Rhino, V-Ray, and Revit available to employees - and build space into their workweek for them to master those programs. Train employees to not only be good architects, but good artists when it comes to representing the work they do on the front end of a project.
Computer technology is always evolving, and making sure your office has hardware that allows them to work quickly and efficiently is an expensive endeavor. However, having a strategy for maintaining currency with your computer hardware is as important as having a skilled workforce in the first place.
Next time you start thinking about replacing the computers in your office, consider spending a bit more to future proof your fleet of PCs or Macs for the next 5-8 years. You’ll be investing a bit more in the short term, but that investment will pay off in happy employees and better visualization work.
There’s no mincing words here - VR (and AR) is the future of visualization. Architecture firms who are investing money in not only purchasing VR equipment, but training employees to use it, are being rewarded with happy clients, and better built work. VR lets the viewer get inside conceptual work in a way previously reserved for massive physical models - which are time consuming, expensive, and impossible to change.
VR will open up a whole new world of visualization, and can aid in walking clients through the project, or bolstering the feedback loop that lets architects view, critique, and improve the design. At this point, it’s probably the best way to spend money on visualization in the architecture and design industry.