When vision overpowers all other channels of sensory perception, architecture turns into a by-product of digital imagery.
The tangible architecture feels less real than its digital projection. A new design emerges when we learn about the project in the media rather than when it reaches completion. Some people will see more visualizations per day than experience buildings firsthand during a year.
When we cannot tell a render from a photo and never plan to visit the site, does it even matter if the building was constructed at all? And when we judge a design competition for yet another real estate development, what do we base our pick on? The most enthralling visualization! Let the best renderer win…
Yet, at a time of its unprecedented triumph, digital archviz seems to have lost its visionary, architectural, and artistic merit. Renderings have become uninspired, tired, and empty, exciting enough to hold our attention for a moment but never daring to provoke any real emotion or a challenging thought.
A rendering must be safe, polished, glossy, and sometimes extravagant but never experimental. Isn’t it a perfect formula to sell architecture through visualization? And it worked until it didn’t.
To regain its power archviz must reconnect with the real. The “Hyperreal” approach is the answer.
Hyperreal archviz employs the artistic methods of painting, photography, collage, photomontage, set design, filmmaking, and theater but remains utilitarian. It avoids the fake glossy reality of photorealism and the alienating elitism of post-digital abstraction.
There exists no single ‘style’ of hyperreal visualization. Instead, the three leading principles define it.
- Visualization should distinguish itself from reality;
- Visualization should ignite conscious perception;
- Visualization should provide an emotional experience.
Hyperreal visualization shuns the illusion that the image space equals the real. It does not try to surpass or replace reality. But it sparks anticipation of the physical space and gives a foretaste of the future real-world experience. It ignites a focused perception and an engaged contemplation of an image. The interaction becomes conscious and aware.
Hyperreal archviz makes us notice the architecture behind a rendering. It reminds us that space is a tangible balance of mass, light, color, texture, sound and smell that requires a whole spectrum of human senses to be perceived at its fullest.
And suddenly, we remember that architecture is about being rather than seeing and that to experience it means to live it.
*Solely human-created by Sergej Pogorelov and Iryna Balunenka. iddqd Studio 2023.