Future100: Architecture Students Explore New Frontiers in Visualization

From board games to comic books, four students eschew realism for more emotive modes of architectural visualization.

Airene Dizon’s proposal for a new structure at Compton College in California is based on the idea of porosity. Dizon employs transparent materials to define a visual and performing arts center that allows occupants to observe the production of each art form. Pictured here are diagrams illustrating how social life functions during such events as film screenings, outdoor performances, gallery exhibits, studio visits, and shows in the auditorium. Courtesy Dizon Airene

It’s a rite of passage for architecture students to get lost in the digital universe of Rhino or V-Ray, spending countless nights creating photo-realistic renderings. But architectural representation is less about creating a polished image or model, and more about generating new ideas, fleshing out loose concepts, and exploring critical ways of communicating. That’s why these student works stand out. Their presentations tend to eschew “realism” for more emotive modes of visualization, taking forms that range from collage to comic books to board games. Clearly, they’re thinking outside of the nine-square grid.


Brayton Gregory created this model by examining and applying the geometry of the torus in three concentric shapes repeated vertically. For Gregory, the “goal was to create a new ‘front’ to the building within the interior.” The masses are then carved to create a continuous space that encourages occupants to rethink what is interior versus what is exterior. Courtesy Brayton Gregory

Visit metropolismag.com/future100 to see more groundbreaking student work.


Cal Poly Pomona

Undergraduate Architecture

NOMINATOR: Sarah Lorenzen, Professor

When it comes to representation, Dizon’s portfolio showcases a range of styles, including colorful collage perspectives that illustrate the experience of a college campus and diagrammatic vignettes highlighting the social interactions that can occur in each program.


Rice University

Graduate Architecture

NOMINATOR: Carlos Jiménez, Professor

Liu’s drawings, collages, and renderings of museums and housing all contain a careful attention to the effects of light, shadow, and atmosphere. Through rigorous daylighting studies, the young designer speculates on the experience of each project according to the time of day and the season.


Harvard University

Graduate Architecture

NOMINATOR: Toshiko Mori, Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture

Physical model-making is one skill reflected in Gregory’s portfolio, whether it be a section model of an addition to a parking garage or a geometric study that evaluates the spatial possibilities of a hyperbolic parabola.


Harvard University

Graduate Architecture

NOMINATOR: Toshiko Mori, Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture

In addition to displaying a proficiency in both physical model-making and digital rendering skills, Yaxuan Liu’s portfolio makes use of graphic design, comic strips, and board game design to represent work of domestic and urban scale.

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Categories: Architecture