Architects have a lot on their plates. The profession was once described to me as a circus juggle who throws all 10 of his flaming chainsaws up in the air at once, and must do everything in his power to keep them from hitting the ground or chopping off both arms. It’s an apt comparison, and one that points to the many things an architect must keep in motion on their way to designing and executing successful buildings.
One of those flaming chainsaws, or perhaps a few of them, have to do with the production of visuals to aid in the design process, marketing, and communication with clients and consultants. These visuals not only promote the work, they act as a conduit through which the designer is able to convey their ideas through visualizations.
It isn’t easy work, and requires a very specific set of skills to do well. This is where freelance rendering artists can come in so handy. They are a rare breed of digital nomad who specialize in 3D modeling, rendering, animation, and in knowing what kinds of visuals will best present an idea.
This article will outline why hiring freelancers is important, and how it can contribute to the continued success and growth of your architecture business.
Architects and designers are always talking about ‘process.’ It’s the thing that transforms an idea into a feasible work of architecture. The process is all about a disciplined approach to moving a concept forward in a way that adheres to all constraints of the job.
A vital aspect of process is the feedback loop. It’s a constant checking of the work against critique in order to make the design better, or bring it back in alignment with the initial ideas. Milestones within this loop are accompanied by visuals that are created to give the designers and the clients the most accurate information the state of the project can give.
These visuals are key to the feedback loop, and are often neglected or underdeveloped because of the time and resources it takes to produce them. Hiring a team of freelancers ensures you’ll always have someone who can aid in creating content with the sole purpose of reinforcing the design loop, providing the most accurate visual information, and transform the process into something that makes good projects great, and great projects iconic.
When working through a building design from concept to completion, the architect is tasked with making sure all parties involved in the process are constantly in the loop. Design communication is something young designers learn very early on so they are always developing their abilities to not just tell someone their ideas, but to show them.
Visualizations - photorealistic or diagrammatic - are the conduit through which the architect speaks to the world. Most people, including your clients, don’t have the right mental equipment to be able to process 2D construction drawings, and must have a more tangible frame of reference if they are to understand decisions and contemplate the ‘why’ behind the design.
Dedicated rendering artists understand this fact better than anyone. They’ve built their career around it. Hiring freelancers to perform your visualization work will ensure not only the highest quality, but the type of content that the layperson will quickly understand. However, be sure to let them know what the most important aspects of the design are prior to their work. They take direction well, and will engage the world with the most iconic essence of your project.
Contractors are used to looking at construction documents. They’ve mastered the language probably better than even the architects who draw them. However, sometimes the design intent can get unceremoniously lost under a pile of line weights, notations, and tags. 3D visuals can help aid in giving contractors construction information that points to the final result of the detailed work.
These types of 3D drawings don’t necessarily have to be literal, but should accompany other technical drawings in showing a few different angles of the same thing. Contractors appreciate this added information because they don’t have to send out 50 requests for information - processes that slow their schedule and fray relationships with architects and clients.
Hiring freelance rendering artists frees up your firm to focus on drawing the vital construction information while someone else provides the supplementary visual aids. Also, building your 3D model in a program like Revit will allow the design information to always be up to date with the construction information. Use these advancements in technology to promote consistency and conduct better construction documentation.