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Peter Dye advises architects on how to make films with impact. It’s simpler than you think
I have found architects often naturally gravitate towards a style of photography that is a record of a building’s “pure” architectural form – capturing its quality of light, surfaces and resolved details rather than the life that transpires within. These images record a choreographed, frozen moment in time, rather than communicating how the building is used or, indeed, is useful.
This pursuit of purity can produce formally beautiful images that speak of architects’ sensibilities and training. However, times have changed and architects have caught on to the idea that clients and people outside the architectural profession want to see how people use buildings and their resulting atmosphere. Video content has the potential to mediate the gap between pure form and lived reality. Being flexible with the use of video can help promote this user-focused approached.
While populated photographs can sometimes feel staged, video can push us to capture spaces and buildings in genuine use. We need to relax a bit when trying to record how a space, place or building exists, curbing an architectural instinct for perfection and rationalisation.
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