Thanks to Visualingual for posting a link to the portfolio of Luke Painter. Be sure to check out his link below where you can find architectural Flash animations featuring a polluting tree factory which could cause quite a predicament if actually built. Another favorite of mine is his "city in a building" animation, where the evolution and devolution of an entire city occurs playfully before your own eyes in a matter of seconds. I've (illegally and without permission) stolen a screenshot of Painter's work to get you excited enough to further enjoy his portfolio.By the way, Painter's imagery looks suspiciously like FAT's renderings of Hoogvliet (Rotterdam's eclectic cultural park), bicycle surveillance hut, et. al!? What gives??? (images via: FAT's portfolio site)
Perhaps the combination of simple vector line work and a limited color palette is the beginning of a new trend in architectural visualization? At the very least, it provides a refreshing departure from the technologically dominated field of realistic night time renderings that have us all wondering if buildings are simply being designed for that "one view" or for specific night time lighting conditions.
Isozaki's wonderfully simple screen print images also come to mind. These minimalist visualizations - aside from being incredibly cool, have the integrity of being made by hand...carrying with them a bit of nostalgia for today's practicing architect. Months ago, awestruck by Isozaki's work, the Mockitecture WebLob team produced a speculative project rendered in a style inspired by reductive rendering techniques. We even nodded to the style by placing Isozaki's rendering in the background of ours (a bit too presumptuous, perhaps).This backward trend in rendering style reminds me of the implications of camera technology in the fine arts - namely portrait painting. A simple portrait photograph - among other things - freed the painter from painting in realism toward more expressive styles, encouraging both experimentation and abstraction. Perhaps we are seeing the same reaction in the architectural profession: a shift towards the visually playful and abstract. This comes at a time when modeling software is becoming more and more affordable and popular - threatening wildly popular curvy-and-zig-zag iconographic architecture to be killed by it's own success (*cough* postmodernism *cough*). Ironically, architectural innovation - in rendering/visualization technique at the very least - can be achieved by simply taking a step backwards. After all, who can really afford to outsource their renderings to India and beyond in this economy?