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Use Digital Architectural Sketching To Streamline Client Approvals

It's one week before your next big design meeting. You have multiple ideas to present, but your goal is to secure your client's approval of a single direction so you can complete this phase, bill for it and move your team on to the next.

Your image boards suggest the character you want the project to have without being overly specific, but you're confused as to what kind of 3-d images to present. You want them to be provocative enough to generate a conversation, but not so photo-realistic that your client seizes upon them as proof of "what the project will look like," leaving you no wiggle room to develop your ideas later.

Back in the day, architects solved this problem by presenting loose architectural sketches (with maybe a little color thrown on them), blown up several feet wide so as to wow the client with vagueness...but times have changed and clients have changed with them.

Modern clients have grown up in a world of photo-realistic digital images.Their parents understood that hand drawn sketches and diagrams were a part of the design development process, but this generation has
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Hacking Gmail to Keep Track of Your Favorite Internet Discoveries

One of the reasons I love gmail is because of the many ways you can casually hack it. For example, when I come across a post or an idea on the internet that I want to keep track of, I email it to myself with the word "Keeper" (as in fishing) in the title. Then I set up a filter that keeps everything with the word "Keeper" in the title in a folder named Keeper. That way all I have to do is click on the Keeper folder (in the left hand list of folders in my gmail) and boom: everything is right there.

OK, so you already knew that, great. But did you put the following amazing link in your Keeper folder? It's a kind of storyboard that a favorite illustrator of mine, Christoph Nieman, created after hearing an interview between Terry Gross and Maurice Sendak. I'm sure he had help at the NYT turning it into this sweet little video, but please enjoy:

 

Fast, Low-Cost Architectural Sketches Help Realtors and Prospective Buyers Study Design Options Before Buying

As an architect who specializes in early-stage concept design, architectural sketching and rapid visualization, I get to serve as one-stop shop for realtors, developers and prospective homeowners wanting to study their options before committing to buying an important property, or before engaging a "high profile" architect who, given the pressures of running a large practice, might just assign the exercise to a couple of talented in-house designers anyway.

In the collaboration posted here, I worked with a Boston developer to sketch (in a fraction of the time required by a larger firm) the look and feel of a 120-unit, future-looking condo project in a prosperous Boston suburb. 

 

Early study based on SketchUp massing study: the Idea of pre-fab, stackable units enters inWe used a combination of traditional and digital architectural rendering techniques to explore her options, culminating in the simple black-and-white digital renderings at the end. Unfortunately, the banking meltdown of 2008 nipped the project in the bud, but...

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How To Use Key Words To Attract Attention To Your Website

Keywords are the terms that people use when trying to find what they are looking for on the internet. This site is a Squarespace site, and one of the features Squarespace provides, along with ready-made templates and hosting and comprehensive analysis of your traffic, is a list of the keywords that people use to find your site. As a rule, these words tend to be a surprise, never quite aligning with the terms you, as site creator, thought people would use when you first tried to guess them.

 

A Proposed New Headquarters for LLadro Porcelain, Jay Valgora, Studio V, Architect

As of this morning, the keywords people used over the last week to find this site, whether they were looking for something like it or something else, were, in order of use:

  1. architectural rendering
  2. watercolor techniques
  3. architectural renderings
  4. architectural rendering techniques
  5. watercolor rendering techniques
  6. pen and ink techniques
  7. watercolor rendering
  8. watercolor techniques
  9. architectural sketches
  10. watercolor rendering techniques
  11. watercolor techniques
  12. architectural watercolor rendering techniques
  13. pen techniques
  14. different watercolor techniques in rendering
  15. architectural sketching
  16. pen and ink
  17. sketching techniques
  18. architectural rendering in watercolor
  19. rendering watercolor

You get the idea. Actually that's not too bad. A few weeks ago one of the terms was "movable hot tub," so this week's visitors are a little more focused.

I don't pretent to understand how the search engine crawlers that comb the internet every night make a distinction between authentic use of keywords (aka "white hat" search engine optimization or SEO), and the so-called "black hat" use of keywords (such as I am ironically attempting to practice here) but somehow they do, and part of that has to do with pictures (and captions, believe it or not) that relate to the keywords, so I'll attach some of those now and just say goodbye until next time, and thanks for reading this.

This was an architectural rendering in watercolor done for a really nice architect named David at MR Architecture in NYC.

This was an architectural sketch in watercolor done for a speculative real estate project in Alford, MAThis is an architectural rendering in watercolor of a section of a library (to which Shepley Bullfinch Architects in Boston, MA were making an addition to) at Lehigh UniversityThis is an architectural rendering in watercolor of a concert hall for the New Hampshire Music Festival based in Concord, NH by a really nice architect who's name escapes me, but he was a great guy, as were the clients at NHMF!

How To Find An Architectural Renderer

These days it is no easy task to find an independent architectural renderer. With every architectural graduate student now capable of creating digital architectural renderings, the registered architects who practice watercolor techniques, architectural rendering, architectural watercolor rendering, architectural sketching, watercolor rendering techniques, architectural sketches, watercolor techniques, architectural rendering or any of the other disciplines associated with traditional architectural rendering are becoming harder to find.

 My name is James Akers, I am a licensed architect and I specialize in watercolor techniques, architectural rendering, architectural watercolor rendering, architectural sketching, watercolor rendering techniques, architectural sketches, watercolor techniques, architectural rendering and all of the other disciplines associated with traditional architectural rendering. Email me at jakers3 at gmail dot com, or call me at four-one-three 250-8800 to discuss what you need, and how to provide it in the quickest, most affordable way possible. Thanks.

 

 

Use Traditional Architectural Rendering By Hand To Present Your Concept Designs in Human Terms

There is no better way to differentiate your architecture firm or product design firm from your competition than to use traditional architectural rendering by hand--including pencil sketches, pen and ink sketches and watercolor sketches--to connect your client'e emotions with your conceptual design. Digital architectural rendering has its place and no architectural or product design presentation can be complete without it, but if everyone is showing the same digital architectural rendering, than it will be the designer that uses traditional architectural rendering to connect her clients' emotions to her ideas that will cut through the noise of what everyone else is doing and make the sale.

James Akers deploys traditional architectural rendering techniques to help sell his clients' conceptual architectural designs to their world famous clients, whether those clients specialize in sports design, hospitality design, entertainment design or institutional design.

 

How Architectural Rendering By Hand Helped Bryant Park Restaurant Get Approvals For New Lighting Design

When Ark Restaurants, interior designer Nancy Mah and lighting designer Brian Orter needed a change to an existing rendering of Bryant Park Restaurant to reflect a new lighting design, the answer was to modify the rendering of this cultural landmark to show more of the entrance from Bryant Park. Here is the process we used. Click on any image to enlarge.

Original rendering:

This is where we started

Quick photoshop study of proposed patch:

Notes from the client:

Context photos:

Pencil line drawing of patch:

Watercolored patch added to original in photoshop:

Overhead festoon lighting and additional floor lanterns added in photoshop:

Final version with festoon lights raised.

That was fun, wasn't it? According to the designers, the revised rendering was a hit with the Bryant Park commission.

Appendix: Here are some keywords which will help readers index this article:

  1. architectural rendering
  2. watercolor techniques
  3. architectural renderings
  4. architectural rendering techniques
  5. watercolor rendering techniques
  6. pen and ink techniques
  7. watercolor rendering
  8. watercolor techniques
  9. architectural sketches
  10. watercolor rendering techniques
  11. watercolor techniques
  12. architectural watercolor rendering techniques
  13. pen techniques
  14. different watercolor techniques in rendering
  15. architectural sketching
  16. pen and ink
  17. sketching techniques
  18. architectural rendering in watercolor
  19. rendering watercolor

Ideas For Unemployed Architects, Chapter One: Hot Tub On Wheels

In advance of the hot tub rennaissance sure to happen with the release of the art film "Hot Tub Time Machine," I submit the question: why can't one rent a hot tub on wheels? Can somebody get on that please?

Appendix: Here are some keywords which will help readers index this article:

  1. architectural rendering
  2. watercolor techniques
  3. architectural renderings
  4. architectural rendering techniques
  5. watercolor rendering techniques
  6. pen and ink techniques
  7. watercolor rendering
  8. watercolor techniques
  9. architectural sketches
  10. watercolor rendering techniques
  11. watercolor techniques
  12. architectural watercolor rendering techniques
  13. pen techniques
  14. different watercolor techniques in rendering
  15. architectural sketching
  16. pen and ink
  17. sketching techniques
  18. architectural rendering in watercolor
  19. rendering watercolor

Architectural Rendering Techniques Your Mother Didn't Tell You About

Chapter 14: The ROKU Box (The first in a series of slightly ireverent posts in which we discover tools to help all of us watercolorists--whether you do architectural renderings or more traditional subjects--stay a little more sane during all those hours in the studio.)

OK, you're a dedicated watercolor artist, you've got your favorite triad, your favorite brushes and paper--all good. But now, you've reached the seventh consecutive hour of NPR today and you need a break. You have Netflix Instant, but you don't want to spill water on your laptop keyboard. Solution? The Roku box. It's the little black box about the size of an old video tape that you've heard about but haven't tried yet, and it's gonna change your world. Roku works with your Netflix Instant queue, but it plugs right into your TV and streams your Netflix Instant selections directly from your wireless bridge or modem to your TV (as another video input similar to a DVD player connection). You turn on your Roku box, select Netflix Instant, and scroll through your awesome selections until one hits the mood (I'm on my fourth consecutive 30 Rock Season 3 episode as we speak.)

http://www.roku.com/

OK, so not every time is right for Roku, but if you're on deadline and you can spare just enough mental bandwidth to pay partial attention to, oh, I don't know: R. Crumb? or Mystery Science Theater 3000? Or My Architect? Or Room With A View? Or any of the other pure awesomeness that is your Netflix Instant queue, then I heartily suggest you make the Roku box part of your palette. Next week: green tea.

Traditonal Architectural Rendering vs. 3D Digital Rendering

I get a lot of calls from architects, developers, fund raisers and building owners looking for an alternative to 3D digital rendering. Not that 3D digital rendering is a bad thing. It isn't. Let's be honest. It's frikkin' gorgeous... and versatile...and powerful in ways that architectural rendering by hand can never be.

 

But 3D digital rendering done well requires a lot of design decisions and information--more than most architects have the time to produce during concept design. And some would say 3D digital rendering lacks the warmth and ambiguity of traditional architectural rendering. What you see is what you get--no more, no less, and God protect the architect from her literal client if the design should change, or not look exactly like the rendering in the end.

Don't get me wrong. I use digital technology to build accurate models set up views, and study the composition of views. (Heck, I'll even give you the model afterward.) It's just that, for some designs and in some situations...

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