Posts tagged with "Rendering vs. Reality":

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A new exhibition asks: Are we living in digitally-rendered cities?

The show Rendered Cities, up at Apexart in Tribeca, addresses the problematic impact of architectural renderings on contemporary architecture. The show’s opening statement asserts that flashy renderings make cityscapes "real before reality," with newly constructed buildings mimicking digitally rendered drawings. Because architecture today originates from a computer drawing, built structures are becoming more and more dictated by digital renderings, leaving space for technology to be more deeply embedded into our surroundings.

The notion that architectural renderings create a fixed idea of what a city should look like is especially relevant to the present day, when cities seem more like construction sites than living spaces, and glass skyscrapers are rising in global cities around the world.

Featuring work by Felicity Hammond, Lawrence Lek, and Laura Yuile, the show is organized by London's ANGL Collective, a curatorial group comprised of Luís Manuel Araújo, Brenda Guesnet, and Giulia Pistone. The three met in the MFA Curating program at Goldsmiths College in London, and they now put together shows that deal with architecture through ‘fiction and imagination.’ Hammond’s piece consists of a bright green wall and floor installation within which abstract geometric shapes are installed on wooden scaffolds or attached directly to the wall and floor. Her work resembles the world inside of a computer screen—a space with fractured shapes, voids of color, and nothing to orient one's surroundings that blurs the line between real usable space and abstract computer space.

Lawrence Lek’s video essay uses footage from the game Assassin’s Creed to move through various cities. For example, the game's character scales Notre Dame in Paris and Egyptian pyramids, allowing a new and physically impossible perspective for the viewer. Rendered Cities notes that Lek’s work traces “the political symbolism of the skyscraper as the global repetition of an urban form and a contemporary manifestation of wealth and power.” It is an example of technology allowing humans to experience space in an enhanced way, allowing for commentary on real places by using digitally rendered ones.

Yuile’s work includes an installation and a performance piece scheduled for February 10. The work present at the opening was comprised of three mannequins and a washing machine that had been taken apart and added onto. Yuile’s installation will come to life during a performance piece, Laura Yuile Performance of Unit #1, Maintenance #1. The artist described some of her materials for the piece on her Instagram: “[washing] machine, soap, mannequins; clothing fibers, including human and animal hair and skin cells, plant fibers, and pollen, dust, and microorganisms from my neighbors clothing...” This variety of materials reflects the artist’s voice on familial structures, ways of living, and the effects of advertising.

Rendered Cities is on view at Apexart through March 17. Laura Yuile’s performance piece will take place on Saturday, February 10, 2018, from 3:00–4:00 pm. More information on this show can be found here.  

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The Future Future of JFK Terminal 4

If this rendering of Terminal 4 at JFK looks familiar, good. That means you're reading, as it, or something very much like it, was in our story last week about the Port Authority and Delta's plans for expanding the terminal. What is different, though, if you look closely, is the number of gates. This rendering was released by Delta last week, though it initially confounded us because the talk had been of nine new gates, not the 30 we counted when we compared it to the terminal's current layout, which you can see and compare after the jump. It turns out, the wrong rendering had been released, and this is in fact the ultimate plans for the future development of Terminal 4, with 10 new gates on Concourse A (right) and 11 more added to Delta's nine on Concourse B (left). That makes for a total of 46 gates—larger than some mid-sized airports—up from a current 16. No wonder they have to tear down Terminal 3 to make room for more plane parking. But not before Hal Hayes has something to say about it. Hayes was the lead planner at SOM when it created the current Terminal 4 a decade-and-a-half ago, and then he filled a similar role at HOK when it developed a prior plan for Delta at JFK. Now on his own, the architect takes issue with the preservationists we spoke to last week—to his mind, Terminal 3 is easily the most important of all at JFK, even compared to Saarinen's Terminal 5, which he said is formally but not functionally groundbreaking. As for the threatened Terminal 6 by I.M. Pei, Hayes said Terminal 3 is "superior to Pei, especially in terms of aviation architecture. Pei's is a pretty corporate box, but it could be anywhere." Terminal 3, however, had an unparalleled design that allowed for passenger loading and maintenance to take place all under its unique canopy. "This is really the place that established the paradigm for airport architecture, and these terminals were treated like international headquarters, intended to be corporate icons," Hayes said of JFK. Hayes said the biggest problem is that Terminal 3 "suffers from a no-name architect," otherwise it might have a better shot at preservation—something he insists would be far easier than the Port Authority, Delta, or even some preservationists will allow. He proposes demolishing the '70s addition, running the connector Delta is planning between terminals 2 and 4 through the old Terminal 3, and turning it into a grand mall of some sort, with the shops and eateries that are now familiar to any airport. As for the Port Authority's insistence that there is no room for even remnants of the building, Hayes disagrees. "They can leave it pretty much where it is and not impact the new terminals or the parking one iota," Hayes said. He should know, as this is precisely what his previous plans called for. UPDATE: It was just announced that AECOM has won the $11 million contract to oversee construction on the terminal project. Is there anything they can do? UPDATE 2: Hal Hayes writes: "There is a misquote about Saarinen’s Terminal 5, which I said was functionally groundbreaking and one of the terminals that created the paradigm for modern aviation terminal design, along with Terminal 3 and other early JFK Terminals. It was Terminal 6 that I said was not functionally innovative."

The Future Is Video

When CAD rose up in the '80s and began replacing hand-drawing as the preferred means of rendering architecture-to-be, practitioners began decrying the death of the field. Obviously that was not the case, but in our increasingly digitized age/culture/lives, where sexy renderings predominate (to the cost of real architectural discourse, some might say, and probably rightly) on blogs and, uh, architectural websites and beyond, videos are becoming an increasingly important component of the process of placemaking. Or at least competitionwinning, as the above video by SPF:architects shows. When we first turned it up on Curbed today, we were taken aback by the lengths (some might call it desperation, but in these hard times, who can blame them) the firm had gone to to convince the judges of the worthiness of their entry in a competition to design Calgary's new Cantos project, billed as the only "national music centre" in Canada. Turns out, though, all entrants had to produce a video, including Diller Scofidio+Renfro, allied works architecture, Atelier Jean Nouvel, and the lone Canadian firm, Montreal's Saucier + Perotte. Since the LA-based SPF's is naturally Hollywood flashy, how do the other four stack up? Hey! We recognize that cut-out. Rip off! Playing the buildings? Where have we seen that before? For a Pritzker Prize-winner, this sure is chintzy. Dig the tunes.