Sarah Halford

Architecture and Ceramics

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Jamie Fobert Architects are shortlisted in competition for the V&A Museum’s extension. What tickles me is the visualisations they have created, with one scene shown twice, one on a sunny day and another on a rainy day.

There are a few interesting articles around about ‘scalies‘; the people that populate the imaginary scenes of architectural renderings. At college I once saw a classmate photograph his friends from far away, then trace around them for his elevations. To be fair, it did look quite realistic. It looked like a leisure centre… full of architecture students.

We used to hand draw everything, so a good scalie was the last thing you’d add, and it could make or break your presentation. I recall a friend made a model incorrectly, with the plan twice the size of the section, so it was twice as flat as it should have been. Rather than make a new model, he fashioned a fat, squat scalie to live in his model.

Of course the idea is to give the ever-elusive ‘sense of place’ that an empty street just can’t give, but how far should you go? is a user-compiled resource full of CAD drawings of trees, vehicles, people, and anything else you can upload. You’d be surprised how many people think it’s a great laugh to trace around pornographic material in CAD. But really, what designers are trying to do is set a realistic mood, which also makes the building look appealing, that’s why there are so many renderings with vague ghost-people wavering about like Kenneth Williams; you don’t want the environment to look too realistic, or the reality could be a bit… less like living in a constantly sunny place where people are forever walking dogs and holding hands.



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This entry was posted on March 3, 2011 by in architecture.
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