Architects depend on presentation to convey their ideas to their clients.  Presentations come in many facets, from hand drawn images on paper, computer generated drawings shown on a screen and physical models.

Buckeye Park and Ride

Watercolor of Buckeye Park and Ride


LACMA – Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Peter Zumthor’s Design Model


But what we really want is virtual reality to go places that are developed in our minds yet not here.  Architects have been creating virtual reality in their sketchbooks and drawings boards for ages but today we are even closer to further immerse ourselves into the worlds we create.


Computer gaming has shown us that we can escape into the various worlds.  Some games I have seen are fairly detailed and there are examples that are highly fantasy.


As movies develop further and video becomes more advanced, people are developing ways to bring a virtual reality into a new dimension.  Just check out what the people at AV Solutions have developed to create this holographic virtual world.




The artfulness of hand drawn images are becoming a thing of the past.  We used to pride ourselves in our office that we still produced water color images of our designs, however there has been a shift to put the pencil down and really focus on what technology can do for us.

Every so often, I see an article in an architectural magazine with a STARCHITECT stating that the art of hand drawings is being lost to the computer, but if you notice they are usually 80+ years old.  They  never learned the art of the computer.  I don’t believe they are wrong, just right for themselves.  One must realize that technology is just another tool for the modern architect to convey their designs.

“The computer is wonderful for certain things, but it is hard for your mind and hand to work together unless you continue to draw …  they don’t have to be beautiful drawings, just get it down.  It is your language, you cannot give it up”    Michael Graves


If you grew up using DRAWSOMETHING2, imagine how good you would be creating those images once only possible with pen, pencil or brush.  You can now “let your fingers do the walking”, (another quote from past time) and create master pieces.  I’ve seen some amazing renderings watching my kids play DRAWSOMETHING2.

As the STARCHITECT’S are getting younger and developing their careers during the computer age, I believe we will hear less of the grumbling about the pencil being lost and more about embracing new ways to present our ideas.

To be continued …………………………………….


Jeff Serbin

Jeff Serbin is Vice President of Serbin Studio. His responsibilities include architectural design and project management. He coordinates the work of consultants and design team members, and is involved in design from concept through construction.

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