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Architectural Renderings Are Probably Lying to You

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Don't trust the renderings

NYC Eco Tower Museum
rendering via Labscape

Architectural renderings are often very fun, and equally often fairly deceptive—rendering glass becomes more translucent than it could ever be in real life, trees grow in climates in which they would probably have a difficult time surviving, and cities become whitewashed, in more ways than one.

"There are rendering trends, which follow architectural trends," says Curbed architecture critic Alexandra Lange. "At the moment there's a real desire, for some reason, to have skyscrapers with trees growing on the top and up the sides as if your skyscraper is a giant trellis."

In this week's episode of our podcast, The Curbed Appeal, we sit down with Lange to talk all about renderings—the subject of a recent piece on Failed Architecture—how much (or little) we can trust them, what type of responsibility firms have to render in good faith, and what one earth the renderings on this page are supposed to be depicting.

Vertical Farm
rendering via Vincent Callebaut Architects
World Expo 2017, Astana, Kazakhstan
rendering via Safdie Architects

The Curbed Appeal: Episode 1 With Guest Daniel Libeskind [Curbed]

The Curbed Appeal [iTunes]

The Curbed Appeal [SoundCloud]

What this MVRDV Rendering Says About Architecture and the Media [Failed Architecture]