Latest Trends in Architectural Visualization
Latest Trends in Architectural Visualization

Keeping up with the latest design trends is an exercise in seeing who can turn their head in the fastest rapid succession. What’s in and what’s out is always changing, and while good design and visualization is always good, it’s important as an artist to keep in mind the things that will attract the most eyes for any given climate.

Architectural visualization is always evolving, presenting a moving target that can be difficult to hit in the center. In order to present building designs in the most impressive light, artists should be immersing themselves in up-to-date inspiration that will not only influence their work, but give them the widest range of style and flair to pick from.

This article looks at some of the latest trends in architectural visualization, and outlines which ones have the best chance of still being relevant in the future. For any artist, timelessness is the ultimate achievement, so take all of these trends with the biggest grain of salt.

1 | Virtual Reality

As VR becomes more and more mainstream, it’s becoming an increasingly inexpensive playground for 3D artists, game designers, and architects to showcase their abilities and their designs. The prospect of showing a client through a building design in an interactive VR experience has been dreamed about for decades, and something that has only recently started to become a reality.

Whether or not virtual reality is a trend worth keeping an eye on remains to be seen. The tech is still prohibitively expensive, and rendering artists who are able and willing to work with the medium are scarce at best. Big companies with vast caches of funds are backing the tech, so the safe bet is the VR is (finally) here to stay.

2 | Animation

Animation has been a vital cog in the visualization machine for decades now. However, architects and interior designers are just starting to use motion renderings to showcase how a space or plot of land can be transformed into something entirely new. Animation requires patience, talent, and a massive amount of computing power - things that are becoming more and more available to firms looking to wow their clients with something unexpected.

Architectural animations can include walk-throughs, exploded axonometric drawings, transformations, and just about anything else the imagination can conjure. And while there’s something timeless and profound about a still image, animations can provide information and insight that is impossible without it.

3 | Static Diagramming

Architectural visualization and 3D rendering is all about giving viewers information about the design in a way that is easy to explain. If your grandmother can’t understand it, you should probably go back to the drawing board.

Static diagramming can go a long way to letting clients and the general public into the design process, so they can better gain a grip on why decisions were made. Showing isolated design components such as programming, circulation, plumbing and mechanical systems, views, or other environmental and site characteristics will allow them to visually digest the work behind the finished images.

This will help establish trust, and make meetings or presentations go much smoother and with much less resistance.

4 | Construction Documents

Traditionally, construction plans and details have been made up entirely of flat, colorless, 2D representations of how the building comes together. And while this method certainly works, giving builders and contractors a more realistic representation of what they are building will increase the likelihood of them doing it right.

Architects are always looking for better ways of communicating with construction workers and managers. Using visualization as a compliment to technical drawings will help them connect the dots between paper and reality.

5 | 3D Printing

With services such as Simplify3D gaining traction, it’s never been easier to have design work quickly prototyped in glorious physical modeling. Previously, building physical models out of gyp board and foam core not only required an extremely steady hand, it also manifested as a significant cost to the design budget.

Today, 3D printing allows architects and designers to focus on the design itself, and build small models that give them all the information of a physical model without the hit to the budget. Many firms are even buying 3D printers, running them day and night to fill their shelves with detailed, accurate, and scalable models to showcase their designs.