Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

Architectural Renderings Are Probably Lying to You

Vertical Farm, rendering via Vincent Callebaut Architects.

Architectural renderings are often very fun, and equally often fairly deceptive—rendering glass becomes more translucent than it could ever be in real life, trees grow in climates in which they would probably have a difficult time surviving, and cities become whitewashed, in more ways than one.

“There are rendering trends, which follow architectural trends,” says Curbed architecture critic Alexandra Lange. “At the moment there’s a real desire, for some reason, to have skyscrapers with trees growing on the top and up the sides as if your skyscraper is a giant trellis.”

In this week’s episode of our podcast, The Curbed Appeal, we sit down with Lange to talk all about renderings: how much (or little) we can trust them, what type of responsibility firms have to render in good faith, and what one earth the renderings on this page are supposed to be depicting.