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abstract Mihaila

3D modeling in architecture _ enhance the vision

Lecture in workshop: Ph.D. Arch. Marina Mihaila

Dreaming of architecture is very important in the process of design. 
Whether it is about the first fragment or about the vision of a complete space, any architectural idea has to be expressed in successive sketches, that, in the end, will give form/shape to a more palpable finite product of design.
Experimenting the dreaming of architecture in a full graphic process of drawing by hand, is a more classical way to work on architecture. It is a way of understanding and educating the skills, the art within as atmosphere the architecture, but it also is a state of craft as fundamental experience of life style (while studying in the school of architecture but more so during the professional life).

Observing the process of design and how it evolved in the last 15 years, both in my capacity as architect and educator I would say: the sketches are needed, but the 3D models are vital. J
Why? Just because…
-they became a necessary part of the architecture design and project- currently very few projects are not conceived in 3D, as this is considered :
- important to the study architectural shapes and details,
- a modality to verify the envelope of the space,
- a simulation of the exterior and interior spaces, of the human perspective and scale on the particular space;
- a way to design architectural-structural space;
- a complete part of the architectural theme,
- a more comprehensible part of the design, much more than the sketches; maybe without the same sense of touch and atmosphere, but with a more sensitive view on the continuity of paths, plazas or interior usability and affordability;
- a possibility to compare the section and fluidity of spaces, the pathway and relevant areas;
- a close approach to perceiving the finite result of the process;
- and maybe a marketing status of the product.
To demonstrate that a building is possible poses a challenge, even if this is about an architectural implant/ insertion, an architectural-urban master-plan development, or even more challenging, about computer generated algorithmic or parametric architecture, etc.

Sketches are necessary from the very first stage of inception to define the specific or general form of the architectural object. They are the predecessors of modeling, whether we are using classical or 3D tools. Sometimes, minor, sensible details that may be lost with the hand-drawing technique will be recovered in the 3D model. 

When a 3D model is finalized it is a moment of truth, of sincerity, but probably not too emotional, at least at the beginning (the personal imagination should help here J ) . Then putting it in an urban simulated context… And maybe, in the end, in an augmented reality simulation, that should be enjoyable for the fashionable tourists. (or players of 3D games).

Generating a 3D model shows the artist if she/he is on the safe path of the design, or furthermore, where or at which level could the risk manifest. Also, this way of thinking the architecture and urban space on layers, is a replication of the computational algorithms used by computers in organizing information.

Regarding the contextual architectural educated views J, experimenting a 3D object model in an 3D urban context, is (or may be) relevant for:
-a correct analysis of scale, as general form, shape, and details;
-a study on notable sites, continuity and discontinuities, holes and patterns;
-the coherence of space, at any level;
-a new way for a better perception of space and volumes: in movement, making sense of the cinematic perception and in the end, as a new tool of processing architecture in motion. (as Zaha Hadid, Patrick Schumacher or Mark Forbes did, or referring to the Manifest of the Cinematic Architecture of Pascal Schoning).

Going back to the ultimate use of 3D models, the present shows us that buildings are not the only targets. Virtual architecture is a new way of practicing and it does not require an architect’s career or qualification. J MVRDV and even more Asymptote Architecture showed us new ways of experimenting spaces never seen or imagined before (virtual spaces or even research realms designed for the experimentation of new ideas like SkyCAr City , Metacity Datatown, or in these of Asymptote, the Guggenheim VirtualMuseum .