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Supervisor: Professor Francois Penz

Jonathan Weston photo


Research overview:

The predominant form of architectural representation in the west today is the computer-generated architectural visualisation. Moreover, its prevalence within the architectural process is increasingly being found globally. Despite, or perhaps because of this, the visualisation has at times become emblematic of a dissatisfaction with today’s architectural process. In order to understand this uneasy relationship, my research investigates the visualisation as a form of architectural representation and the role it plays within the architectural process. The aim is to examine the visualisation as a cultural artefact in order to offer a critique of its aesthetics, production, and function. This will involve: analysing the aesthetics of the visualisation in order to identify the conventions that inform its recognisable look; interviews and visits to the leading international visualisation studios using an ethnographic approach to investigate the process of visualisation production; interviews with leading architects to examine their involvement in the process of the visualisation’s construction, and how they then use these images within the architectural process. The research will deepen our understanding of this relatively unexamined form of architectural representation to better inform future production of visualisations and their use in the architectural process. 



Jonathan Weston is an architect and architectural visualiser with many years’ experience of working in international visualisation studios. He completed his architectural training at The Bartlett, University College London, where he also later completed a Masters in Virtual Environments. He is currently studying for the PhD part-time while working as an Art Director in the visualisation industry. He is also a filmmaker whose work playfully critiques architectural visualisation, and has been shown on national TV and at international film festivals.