The Immaterial and Atmospheric in Architectural Representation

By Luis Alfonso de la Fuente Suárez.

Published by The International Journal of Visual Design

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: August 4, 2016 $US5.00

Architectural representations may focus on material and invariant elements, or may also include ambient qualities, those phenomena external to buildings such as lighting which are rarely planned in a strict sense. By including volumetric light, glare, fog or steam, contemporary architectural visualization images give high priority to what surrounds a building. Many of these representations not only show objects under certain atmospheric or physical conditions, but also depict experiences of buildings as sensory phenomena that result from the environmental stimulation sensed by humans. Unfortunately, emphasis on atmospheric and sensory conditions does not stem from the interest of architects in the production of these experiences; on the contrary, it is simply about simulating effects that do not in fact occur. Therefore, the problem of architectural representation is the lack of connection between representation and the actual experiences we will have in the built work. This article connects current theory on architectural phenomenology with architectural representation theory. Representation of physical and physiological phenomena involved in our encounter with buildings will be investigated through analysis of architectural representations and other artistic works depicting atmospheric qualities. By understanding the cited phenomena, pictorial representations that allow us to foresee authentic architectural experiences may be produced.

Keywords: Architectural Visualization, Sensory Experience, Visual Perception

The International Journal of Visual Design, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp.1-15. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: August 4, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.364MB)).

Dr. Luis Alfonso de la Fuente Suárez

Professor, Architecture School, Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon (UANL) / CONACYT, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico