Selling a project through architectural visualization: How firms create compelling narratives for clients | News

Is architectural visualization more than a pretty image? The response to this question can be polarizing. Some argue that this advancement in 3D rendering software combined with the lofty ambitions of firms striving to pitch success to their clients has its fair share of pros and cons. However, using hyper-realistic imagery has become an industry standard when “selling” a project.

While these architectural assets keep clients and the general public at the edge of their seats, visual renders also have shortcomings. Let’s take MVRDV’s Marble Arch, for example. Their proposed project hoped to create “a wonderful opportunity to give an impulse to a highly recognizable location in London.” Instead, it created an opportunity for intense criticism. 

Previously reported on Archinect: MVRDV’s Marble Arch Mound is a magnet for public criticism. Image on left courtesy of MVRDV. Image on right via Twitter user @danbarker

However, the art of architectural visualization as a job has allowed architects and designers to form lucrative businesses thanks to its demand. There’s Keely Colcleugh, the founder and CEO of Kilograph, a renowned creative agency that works with firms, construction companies, and real estate and development companies to achieve the best visual communication materials. Another firm whose work can be paired with high-profile projects and client lists like Gehry Partners, Google, and Heatherwick Studio, is Red Leaf. 

The Grand LA by Gehry Partners (currently under construction in Los Angeles, CA) for Related Urban. Image courtesy of Red Leaf NY

The New York-based architectural visualization firm is led by its founding principal Derek Chan, AIA. With over fifteen years of experience, Chan has built a firm that focuses on “crafting of CGI images, films, and other creative content for their clients in real estate and architecture.”

Currently, Red Leaf is seeking a 3D Visualization Designer to join their team. They explain that the ideal candidate is someone who is passionate about architectural visualization. They also seek someone who is highly efficient in 3D Studio Max and V-ray, can assist in photoshoots, and is interested in film, graphic design, and web development. 

The Centrale by Pelli Clarke Pelli | Interior Designer: Champalimaud Design. Image courtesy of Red Leaf NY

Looking to grow their team, Red Leaf hopes to attract applicants interested in getting their feet wet in architectural visualization. Candidates with 0-2 years of working experience in architecture, interior design, or other design-related fields are ideal. The firm shares that they are also considering recent graduates “with exceptional visualization abilities.”

Architectural visualization has come a long way thanks to rendering software like V-Ray, SketchUp, Enscape, Lumion, Blender, and many others. However, these digital commodities have become so realistic one can’t help but ask when looking at a project image, “is this a render or reality?” 

Render vs. Reality: Namdaemun Tower in Seoul, South Korea. Image: Mecanoo.

This phrase describes one of the many ways the industry has changed thanks to advances in modeling software and the “need” for being marketable. These visual images have become “calling cards” for firms and designers who aim to stay competitive, build their portfolios, and acquire clients. 

Hyper-realistic architectural renders have become digital assets whose exchange helps fuel project excitement, expectations, and criticism. As a result, the idea of visual storytelling for architects and designers has opened up niche markets for firms like Red Leaf, who help bring project ideas to life one image at a time.

As part of Archinect’s job highlights series, we recently showcased an opportunity to work as a Design Manager and Project Manager for Industrious, a Store Designer at Starbucks, a data Design Fellow for the ACSA, and a Senior Architectural Model Maker at Gemmiti Model Art.

Stay up to date with the latest job listings by following Archinect Job’s FacebookTwitter, and Architect Jobs Instagram for new job opportunities posted. Archinect’s industry-leading job board publishes approximately 150 new opportunities every week.

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