Knowlton School - The Ohio State University

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    Lecture - Neil Denari

    By RMartz
    Feb 25, '14 6:10 PM EST


    Welcome back everyone. This past Wednesday Neal Denari, the architect and UCLA professor, came to give his lecture titled “Reality Distortion Field”. The lecture was overall addressing ideas of real vs. not and distorting this perception. This took a few different tracks. One was that for all their elaborate designs he is a very ‘real’ architect; everything they do has to run through the lense of reality. This notion is important as 85% of their work never is realized. It brings up his argument that our renderings are just as real as anything else, a new real. This discussion brought him to the concept that architects, when we make renderings, are really no different than photographers; we frame a view, adjust our lights, change the focal length, etc. If photography is real, or seemingly real, than so are our renders.

    Playing along those lines is the idea of distortion then. In the case of photography he looks at, for example, Jeff Wall, who stages scenes that seem to be actually real (physically they are). He also looks to Pierrot le Fou by Jean-Luc Godard. The movie itself was criticized for some of its violence. In one image the female character is laying with looks to be blood on her face. When asked about the violence the director replied “its not blood, its red”, thus distorting your perception of the movie, bringing it into question. The point is that as architects we can do the same through the perception of reality in rendering, hence he has his UCLA students “rendering within an inch of their lives”. It seems at the end of the day though that the rendering and distorting is serving that “85% of what we do won’t be realized, but make it matter anyway”. Run it through the real.

    Join us this week with University of Michigan professor June Manning Thomas and as always find more on Knowltons YouTube channel ( and the school website (

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About this Blog

This blog will be a feeder for recent news, events and student work occurring at the Knowlton School at The Ohio State University. Posts will typically center around updates from the school's lecture series, exciting projects from recent student reviews and updates from other school events.

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