Digital Unrealities. Photo(Un)Realism and Alienation in Contemporary Postdigital Architecture
2789doi.org/10.3280/oa-1016-c43744th International Conference of Representation Disciplines TeachersCongress of Unione Italiana per il DisegnoDigital Unrealities.Photo(Un)Realism and Alienationin Contemporary Postdigital Architecture Beatriz S. González-JiménezMarco EniaAbstractIn contemporary architecture, photorealistic renderings are one of the most widespread representa-tion techniques. They are sometimes assumed to be the key to a successful project. Recently, however, architects have been investigating quite different possibilities. More and more often, architects com-municate their projects through images that do not pretend to look realistic. On the contrary, they are deliberately non-realistic, although they are produced with tools that could allow the realization of photorealistic images. Increasingly, non-realism is understood as a strategy to give images back an aura of mystery, an openness to interpretation. This approach, which could be called photo(un)realism, responds to the post-digital paradigm, which in architecture as in other arts calls for the hy-bridization of analog and digital methods. Photo(un)realism is post-digital as it draws inspiration from analog artworks in terms of composition and chromatic patterns. This approach is not intended to replace realistic renderings, which are and will remain useful tools. Rather, it aims to free architects from a naïve reliance on realistic images, which can reduce the design process to a matter of pro-ducing pretty pictures. Photo(un)realism tries to convey a different truth about architecture: not its visual appearance, but a sense of its narrative potential.