Architectural visualisation: an art, not a science

While the rise of architectural visualisation technology may seem like a recent phenomenon, there is nothing new about visual communication in architecture.

Illustration has always been a critical part of the design process, from testing of ideas in early stages to the presentation of resolved concepts to showcase the shared vision. The tools of the trade may have evolved, but the basic intentions remain consistent.

New technologies have certainly made it easier to incorporate visualisation into all stages of the design and property development process. However, like any tool, this accessibility can be deceptive.

Although it may be much easier for those with a basic grasp of design to generate images, machines cannot replace the artistic eye for composition and narrative. Not all images are created equal.

The accessibility and simplicity of visualisation technology means it would now be near impossible for a property or infrastructure development to progress without some form of architectural illustration. In an increasingly competitive environment, the quality of project visuals can have a direct impact on sales and investment, setting a development apart in a saturated market.

Proposals with a compelling brand identity, integrating still images with animations and other visual tools are much more likely to captivate an audience and encourage engagement and ultimately, sales. Investing in imagery is now no longer a case of ensuring a set of still images are available alongside floor plans, the customer now has much higher expectations.

Potential buyers can now expect to interact with their prospective purchase. Once satisfied with seeing a visual of their new home, people are now becoming accustomed to the ability to customise and experience their future first hand through the use of VR.

Customers are also increasingly buying into an identity, with project branding and positioning influencing their decision-making process.

Consumer demand and increased technological sophistication have led to the arrival of studios equipped with the skills, resources and capability to focus on the creation of still and moving images that can tell a story and sell a vision.

We at FKD studio work alongside architects, branding agents, marketing consultants and property developers to create evocative visuals, films and virtual experiences, and in doing so move the vision forward– whether that is to sell properties or convince authorities of the value of the scheme.

FKD is a highly specialised studio that has emerged to focus on the creation of compelling architectural imagery, films with customised soundtracks, and immersive stereoscopic VR environments. Our expertise is drawn from many years of industry experience.

Whilst we do stay up to date at the forefront of technical advances in our field, it is important to us to maintain our focus on architecture as art, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

Despite the exciting advancements in technological capabilities, architectural visualisation remains an art not a science.

Nick King is a Director at FKD Studio.

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