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'Distorted Reality': Renderings are Often Misleading!

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As major connoisseurs of renderings, we'd be remiss in letting Nicolai Ouroussoff's short essay in yesterday's Times pass without mention. He calls the entire process of creating renderings to cast projects--particularly hot button massive ones--a "slight of hand" to try to sway public opinion. As an example, he used Tishman Speyer's Hudson Yards proposal, which he's previously called "a damning indictment of large-scale development in New York." To try to shape the public's view, details "like the surrounding context were left incomplete" in the Hudson Yards renderings and avoided elevations to show the project at street level. Model were cut off, "making it virtually impossible to understand the towers’ colossal scale." Why would developers do this? "For fear of inciting a public outcry," of course. "As a result," Mr. Ouroussoff writes, "the public is often left without the visual tools it needs to make thoughtful judgments about a development’s impact." Atlantic Yards Report, of course, adds a thorough deconstruction of the Bruce Ratner-Forest City renderings in his analysis. All this time, we thought of renderings as a kind of New Development Realism. Disappointed again.
· Now You See it, Now You Don't [NYT]
· Now he tells us: Ouroussoff criticizes 'distorted reality' of renderings [AYR]

Hudson Yards

, Manhattan, NY 10001