Architectural rendering is one of the representations of contemporary architectural design, which is a means of proposing architectural idea, selling and providing criteria for evaluation. However, some scholars have recently proposed a challenge: will the pursuit of perfect renderings be detrimental to what building should have expressed?
When studying a large number of UK thesis project of many outstanding students, Olly Wainwright found that their studies and ideas completely detached from the actual building construction, even if these studies are very content with technology and imagination. This is a common problem for college teaching, which shows the misleading of teaching and also is a mistake that many designers will make. Pursuit of the perfect architectural rendering ideas spread not only through school teacher (this will make students spend too much energy on rendering rather than focus to design a creative work.), and the mainstream media in architectural field always displays works with delicate effects to people heavily, which makes people think the better the rendering is, the more excellent the work is. It is much easier to get realistic rendering as the development of technology, yet the reaction is full owing as well, which in other words, is that many rendering are not realistic at all.
As we know, architectural rendering is designed based on client's needs. In my opinion, the real of architectural rendering has two levels of meaning: First, rendering can be close to real life, which is photo-level realism; second, the designing should be workable, which means it could express a truly existing building. If the design divorce from reality, it is only an un-workable and un-practicable scheme no matter how perfect the effect is.
The answer to the question that whether architectural rendering will make architectural design divorce from reality is diverse. But I think it is very simple: first of all, we should get rid of the “effect-supreme”. Secondly, we cannot ignore the rendering effect; a good architectural rendering cannot be delivered to people in exaggerated forms, yet people still have requirements for its visual effects. So we should pursue the realistic rendering effects based on a workable and practical scheme. We will find that these two are not contradicted if we analyze them dialectically, but complementary. Designing and rendering can be maintained at the same time.
Of course, you will still need a render farm to fulfill both of them.