Circular rooms can be particularly difficult to visualize. To study this casino resort entrance lobby, we treated the drawing more as a section than a rendering, making sure to show the connection between the porte cochere and the separate entrances to casino, hotel and retail areas of the resort. With less than 6 hours to communicate the concept behind the room, we used a combination of quick hand architectural sketching and fast Photoshop gradients and collages to get our ideas across. As you can see, this left no time for careful selection trimming, but the crudeness helps add energy to the image and makes it clear to the client we are not trying to create a finished digital rendering. As a further bonus, the drawing makes provides a platform to continue testing details, like the laser -cut metal panels visible at the upper edge of the ceiling.
How many of you have gone home for a visit and found that one cat had turned into seven? These cartoons, made for my parents' birthdays when my mom was alive, show three ways cats figured out exactly what buttons to push on both my parents. If you like them please share.
If you like, please share!
We live in liberating times. An architects or designer can now begin a drawing in Rhino or Sketchup, add elements of hand drawing, and finish the sketch in Photoshop, all with the goal of communicating clearly and quickly during concept design. Please enjoy the following recent digital sketches and hybrid architectural renderings.
Just upgraded the website from Squarespace 5 to Squarespace 7. Did it for two reasons: because Google is deprecating the search results for websites that aren't mobile-optimized (e.g. respnsive design) and because, hey, it looks so much better.
The main challenge was to go back and find image files that were large enough (say, 2000 to 3000 px in width as opposed to the 850 px width of my most of the image files I had kept on my computer) to fill the full bleed image format of the SS7 template I chose, but here, another remarkable piece of software proved invaluable. I don't recall the exact name now, but for you eager beavers interested in googling it, look up "chrome extension organizes your gmail attachments" or tap on this link here. That's right, once you add this extension (or lab feature) to your gmal settings, this amazing code runs quietly in the background to pull a copy of every image you have either sent or received in gmail, going back to the beginning of your gmail life. What's more, it automatically collects these images in a folder you can later find in the left column of your (Mac) finder window (see image below). Its kind of a miracle. As I began looking for larger image files, I discovered over 3,000 images in this folder, none of which I had ever lifted a finger to place there myself.
The following is an imaginary interview between a design magazine and an architectural office manager.
DZ: How did the idea of a Google-like, pre-hiring design test come to you?
LG: We were having difficulty determining applicants' real-world ability from portfolios and references alone, so we thought: Why not an on-the-spot "design skill" test? If we're impressed, we find a place for them. If they don't live up to the promise of their portfolio, we invite them to apply again after a spell, and everyone is spared the cost of a sub-optimum hire
DZ: What are those costs?
LG: Time wasted hiring, having to teach, being distracted by, then having to replace the wrong person. Many people and projects are impacted adversely by a sub-optimum hire.
DZ: How did hiring work before the test?
LG: In practice, we rarely had time to follow up on references or determine an applicant's true abilities--or the true contributions they made to projects in their portfolios. The design test helps us identify hidden gems and weed out those who pad their resumes.
DZ: Why do applicants take your test with pencil and paper. Are these relevant in the age of Rhino, CAD and photoshop?
LG: Its simple practicality: pencil on paper is direct, requires no plugs or wifi and provides a record of an applicants design process and ability to tell a story. Its the ability to imagine and communicate that we, and ultimately our clients, are interested in.
DZ: What if a person is brilliant but doesn't draw well?
LG: I want to make a critical point here. We don't care if their drawings are pretty. We're looking for their ability to think critically, design, and communicate.
DZ: Have you lost any recruits because of the test...the intimidation of it?
LG: On the contrary, many of our recruits say they went out of their way to apply for a job at our firm because of the test--because they thought the test was kind of an equalizer that allows them to demonstrate their abilities and not just where they've gone to school.
DZ: How did you devise the test in its present form?
LG: We interviewed all of our principals and asked them what skills they wanted in new people on day one and what skills were missing most. We then invented questions that addressed these issues.
DZ: How do you score the test?
LG: We don't think of it as scoring because there are no right or wrong answers, only thoughtful and less thoughtful ones. The test is kind of fun to look at, as you can imagine
DZ: We liked the question where you had a person invent 3 new ways to clean a toilet. Have the responses been interesting on that one?
LG: We're doing our next book on just the responses to that question."
DZ: But seriously, why give architect applicants the same question as product design and interior design applicants?
LG: I'll get in trouble for this with my fellow architects, but the traditional architect's snobbery about interior design being beneath them is one of the leading causes of poor teamwork at our firm. Its all design, and showing contempt for these other disciplines shows you don't pay close enough attention to your own everyday experience."
DZ: If its not giving too much away, tell us your favorite question.
LG: I like the one that says, "On one page, use diagrams and a maximum of 144 characters to explain the last project (not just your part) to which you contributed at your previous firm. Then tweet your answer to us.
DZ: So has your test helped with hiring?
LG: It's helped us grow our pool of applicants; it's helped identify people we wish to immediately hire, and in more cases than I'd like to say, it's saved our firm perhaps $100s of 1000s of dollars hiring, teaching, then replacing people who lacked a basic understanding of plans, sections, and elevations.
DZ: Thank you, LG.
LG: My pleasure.
(Summary: Ever-shrinking architects’ fees combined with developer’s expectations of Hollywood-quality digital renderings have brought us full circle: hand rendering is being rediscovered as the most cost effective and artistically direct way to design in the digital age, with the added benefit of helping to art direct third party digital rendering consultants.)
Against All Odds, Hand Rendering is Back. Why against all odds? Because hand rendering was supposed to die. Hand renderers were supposed to be replaced by computers, and to some extent that did happen. But what has evolved is a bit of a surprise.
First, a quick overview of the state of digital architectural rendering...
Is your iPhone refusing to charge? Does your iPhone charge sometimes but not all the time? Do you have to jiggle the lightning connector to get a charge, but even that doesn't always work? Then I have two words for you: pocket lint.
I know, I know, you're an architect or architectural illustrator or product designer and you love your phone, and you take very good care of it, and your clothes are always clean. Why would you have a pocket lint problem? Trust me, you do. Now prepare to be amazed. Before you call the Apple Store Genius Bar, try this simple trick. (Attention: the author is not responsible for you screwing this up! It worked great for me, but use a gentle touch and common sense.)
Step 1) Find a nice clean, long-pointed push pin. (I know, scary, right? Read on!)
Step 2) Gently insert point of pushpin into lightning connector hole, and "rake" with a light touch across the bottom of the hole as if you were cleaning 20,000 year old bones...