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HUMAN FIGURE IN CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTONIC PRESENTATION

Vladan Nikoli1 Olivera Nikoli2 Biserka Markovi3 Abstract Analyzing numerous contemporary examples of architectonic presentations, but also characteristic historical examples, one may observe the specifics of presentation of human figures in those presentations. Every style in architeture is accompanied by certain characteristics of architectonic presentation. Human figure is a significant secondary component of presentation and contributes to the quality of description of atmosphere in the presented scene. It also allows dimensioning of presented structures in the context of applied materials and dimensions. A classification of the most frequently used ways of displaying human figure, and of the visual effect applied facilitates a simple analysis and assessment of development of contemporary architectonic presentation. Key words: human figure, architectonic presentation 1. INTRODUCTION Presentation of architectonic structures or architectonic presentation (AP) is a set of visual attributes describing all relevant basic (shape and form) and complex (texture and color) visual properties of presented structures and other visual elements, which define the context in which the displayed structures are located. Architectonic presentation does not have the role to display the structures in as realistic manner as possible, but primarily to describe the prevailing atmosphere in and around those structures, a Genius loci. If the elements of AP are divided into primary, those elements of the very structures being presented, and secondary, the elements providing additional description of the atmosphere, then the human figure belongs to the secondary elements of AP. There is no prominent AP without implemented human figure. It can be a part of the 3D display, but also an element in the technical drawings, parts of AP. As AP is personification of the spirit of a place, human figure assumes various visual forms and manifestations with the same goal. Human figure should create a viewable form of AP from dimensioning analysis to the psychological perception.
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Assistant, PhD student, Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Ni, Serbia PhD student, Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Ni, Serbia 3 PhD, full professor, Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Ni

According to the method of realization of architectonic presentation, two important periods can be observed, before and after intensive usage of computers in architecture. The former period became the history of AP, while the contemporary architectonic presentation almost completely relies on usage of computers. Human figure which is a part of AP can be observed in the context of the previous statements. In the latter period the good quality AP is a result of great creative impetus of architects and designers in terms of ideas implemented in the work, and facilitated by new and increasing potential of computer application. In the large number of existing principles of contemporary architectonic presentations, some specific principles and characteristics of presentation of human figure can be distinguished. It is also possible to classify them according to the manner of usage and presentation of humane figure in to the desired visual and psychological effect of such presentation method. 2. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND In historical perspective, it is evident that human figure was a part of every AP. In this context can be viewed not only architectonic drawings, but a large number of drawings, fresco paintings and reliefs, comprising presentation of architectonic structures within scenes comprising human figures. All of this presents a historical background which is a basis for almost any of contemporary concepts about presentation of human figures within APs. Leonardos Vitruvian man from 15th century, was drawn after the works of Vitruvius and represents a benchmark of ancient ideal human figure. The Corbusiers Modulor and its various derivatives were the models for various ways of human figure stylization, i.e. silhouettes in the period of the Moderne, and the similar principles can be seen in contemporary architectonic presentations.

figure 1. Vitruvian man

figure 2. Modulor / Le Corbusier

One of the common ways of inserting of human figures into an architectonic presentation, in the period prior to the mass usage of computers in architecture, was usage of Letraset 4 sheets. Letraset sheets, despite their
Letraset is a British company primarily know by the sheets for transfer of ready-made graphic elements and typefaces into architectonic and designing drawings. Application of Letraset in architecture and esign was particularly pronounced in 60s, 70s and 80s of the 20th century until computers became mass used in almost all areas. The name was often generically used for all other transfer sheets of other manufacturers.
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diversity, limited architectonic presentation to predefined figures which used to repeat in a large number of presentations, and therefore made them typified.

figure 3. Letraset sheets

Alternative to such method of presentation was production of collage using cut-out human photographs. An example of this are the photographs done by Ron Harron from the Archigram group. One of his presentations is displayed in figure 4. Simulation of such method of presentation was very much utilized in later contemporary, computer generated architectonic presentations. Most often those human figures were set with no shadows or transparency so that they could truly simulate the original way of production.

figure 4. Tuned Suburb / Ron Herron / 1968.

Of course, regardless of the trends and topical grahpic techniques in the past, there were very original manually produced architectonic presentations where human figures were represented in a creative and innovative way figures 5 and 6.

figure 5. COX / Chikakao Fukazawa

figure 6. Osaka shi / S. Hata, Y. Yuguri

3. MANNERS OF PRESENTATION OF HUMAN FIGURE IN CONTEPORARY ARCHITECTONIC PRESENTATIONS AND THEIR CLASSIFICATION Great potential of computer aided design brought about multiple ways of presentation and treatment of human figure in AP. On the basis of contemporary examples, it is possible to derive a classification of methods of presentation of human figure. This classification cannot be exact and executed according to the strict criteria, since it is an esthetic, artistic category, but certain specifics which determining them in terms of style can be identified. Many presentation methods originate in the period of AP production prior to using of computers. It is not a rare case, that the hand-made presentation, or some elements of which, are inserted in some computer generated AP and vice versa. Also practices is subsequent addition of human figures in the photographs of constructed buildings, either in the form of a photograph or in stylized and reduced form. In this way, full control over the position and characteristics of an embedded figure is facilitated, thus amplifying the desired effect. The presented examples are representative for their originality, too, which is reflected not only in the presentation of the human figure itself, but in its interaction with other elements of presentation, and in the context and atmosphere presented to the observer.. 3.1. Classification of the method of presentation of human figure in AP After more than two decades of mass use of computers in architecture and creation of AP, certain characteristics in the manner of presentation of human figures came to the foreground. Based on a number of examples, the following classification can be proposed: 1. Realistic presentation of human figures 2. Presentation of human figures simulating the collage technique 3. Presentation of human figures in the form of silhouettes and panels 4. Combination of multiple forms of presentation of human figures 5. Atypical manners of presentation of human figures

Realistic presentation of human figures is applied in the realistic presentation of the entire scene, but it can be applied in any other AP creating a contrast in the method of presentation of certain elements of the scene. Such approach inclines to hyper-realism, and the obtained image is difficult to distinguish from a photograph. Human figures in such AP are given with all details, and fitted in the scene by shadows and coloration. Realistic presentation of human figures in AP is facilitated through accelerated development of the software for visualization of 3D models and processing of bitmaps. Time required for realization of such presentations is shortened and the production method is maximally simplified. This resulted in numerous high quality presentations, and the level of realism is permanently increased by introduction of more advanced algorithms for simulation of textures and characteristics of materials, as well as for analysis of lighting and generation of shadows. An example of a realistic presentation of human figures is given in the figure 7.

figure 7. Swedish Media Library Competition / ADEPT and Sou Fujimoto architects

Presentation of human figures simulating the collage technique is frequently applied in contemporary architectonic presentations. Most frequently, human figures are embedded in technically contemporary visualization of structures as cut-out photographs. The collage effect is achieved by omission of human figures shadows, their different coloration, usage of black and white images in a colored scene and vice versa. Such method of presentation is a combination of contemporary technologies and visual characteristics of architectonic visualizations of the 70s of 20 th century. Implementation of retrostyles is very present in all the forms of design and represents a recycling and further elaboration of ideas which were not fully explored, regardless of the time in which they were created. Examples are given in figures 8 and 9.

figure 8. Continuum Uncovered / Fusion architects

figure 9. Fake Plastic Trees in Hollywood / Patterns

Presentation of human figures in the form of silhouettes and panels is interesting for several reasons. Primarily, a scene is disencumbered of excess details and colors, and a good quality and harmonic presentation is obtained. Such presentation is easier to manage in esthetic terms, and use it a s part of a wider presentation. By applying some of visual effects mentioned further in the text it is possible to generate various variations of human figure presented in the form of a silhouette. Adding a third dimension to the human silhouettes generates panels, which open up a possibility to provide a good quality views from different perspectives, without having to reorient the panels towards the observer viewpoints. Examples are given in figures 10 and 11.

figure 10. Beej Proposal / afreestudio

figure 11. High Line Design Proposal / Zaha Hadid

Atypical manners of presentation of human figures in AP comprise a presentation of human figure in an esthetically innovative and unique way. A large number of variations facilitates an original creative expression and provides to the AP a strong artistic component, which extracts it from the context of exclusively utilitarian graphic form. There are examples in figures 12 and 13. Such presentations became artifacts in their own right and posses a special esthetic and artistic value.

figure 12. Reactor /alltag.org

figure 13. House Casanova / Bateman Architects

3.2. Visual effects applied in presentation of human figure in AP Irrespective of the way in which human figures are presented, a number of effects is applied, adding characteristics to architectonic presentation. In the next classification, only the most frequently used visual effects are listed: Transparency Blur Grayscale Localization Shadow omission Atypical visual effects Transparency, is the most used visual effect displaying human figures in AP. Transparency is used as effect in any method of visual presentation of human figure. There are two most frequently applied principles when implementing transparency. The first principle is to provide transparency to the figures in the foreground, which appear larger in the perspective. In this way, the eye of the observer is prevented from focusing on those figures, since they are secondary elements of AP. With such approach, it is possible to embed human figures very close to the position of the imaginary observer, without compromising the main purpose of AP, which is presentation of architectonic structures. The second principle is apply transparency, or higher degree of transparency, to the human figures positioned farther away from an observer, so as to stress the effect of depth in the picture. This principle does not exclude the first one, as transparency for any figure can be adjusted differently. There are examples in the figures 14 and 15.

figure 14. ProCredit Bank / Vladan Nikoli

figure 15. Polish Pavilion, World Expo, Shanghai / M. Mostafa, N. Paszkowska and W. Kakowski

Blur effect in virtual architectonic scenes is a counterpart to a long exposition in photography. It is accomplished in various ways, simulating movement and motion. In this manner is created only stationary appearance of a scene, but also an activity taking place in the represented scene. The examples are in figures 16 and 17.

figure 16. Blur effect

figure 17. High Line Design Proposal / Zaha Hadid

Grayscale is an effect whereby human figures are presented in the shades of gray, inside a colored or partially colored scene. The reason for such approach to processing of human figure is similar as in presentation of figures as silhouettes, to disencumber the figure in terms of esthetics and coloration. Such effect is not always desirable, especially in case when the stress is on conjuring up the high frequency and vividness of the location presented. It is usually the case with shopping malls, markets sport events halls etc. However, if the structures in question are those with prevailing harmonic and peaceful mood, such effect is highly applicable. Also, it is possible to reduce the intensity of color of human figures, which only emphasizes the grayscale effect. There are examples in figures 18 and 19.

figure 18. Library in Pagegiai

figure 19. Competition design / afreestudio

Localization comprises embedding of the human figures in AP which are characteristic for the climate and location where the presented structure is located. This entails considering prevailing skin coloration, dressing habits, population customs etc. Localization can be considered a visual effect regarding that it is applicable to any manner of human figure presentation. Localization, as an effect, is particularly important for the future users acceptance of proposed architectonic designs. There are examples in figures 20 and 21.

figure 20. Masdar / Norman Foster

figure 21. School in rural Tanzania / Students work

Shadow omission of human figures in AP accomplishes an abstract effect of scene fluidity. It is most frequently used in simulation of collages in contemporary AP. This effect can be used with any method of human figure presentation.

figure 22. Waterloo History Museum / Moriyama + Teshima Architects

4. CONCLUSION Based on the proposed classification and listed visual effects, it is possible to draw conclusions which facilitate analysis and research of AP and can represent guidelines for their successful production, regarding their function. Each architectonic presentation is a graphic artifact in its own right, and its successful reading requires certain experiences and knowledge. The level of visual realism of AP can vary, and liable to combining segments of diverse visual realism of AP. This also holds for human figure as a part of AP, whose visual characteristics can be the same, similar or completely different than the rest of AP. The number of human figures evokes the frequency of a location, a large number of colors is suitable for places intended for entertainment and shopping, black and white figures of reduced colors for the cultural facilities, silhouettes can be used universally and variations of these features can describe a precise character of structures and environment. The applied visual effects can evoke certain dynamics, suggesting motions, blur effects. By applying transparency the presentation is freed of excess details and better analysis of primary elements of AP and better focus on it is enabled. By presenting human figures with the local features, it is possible to definitely describe the area in which the presented structure is located. By recycling ideas from the historically significant examples, it is possible to create a good quality and modern AP. These are only some of the important conclusions, and regarding the abstractness of the issue, every reader of the paper can draw their own conclusions. 5. REFERENCES
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Architectural Design Vol. 79, No. 6, November / December 2009. Ching, F.: Architectural Graphics, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1975. Chudley, J.: Letraset: A Lesson in Growth, Century, 1974. Fischer, J.: 1000x European Architecture, Verlagshaus Braun, 2007. Farrelly, L.: Representational Techniques, AVA Publishing, 2007. Interiors: Perspectives in Architectural Design, Graphic-sha Publishing, Tokyo, 1995. Le Corbusier: The Modulor, Birkhuser GmbH, 2000. Lin, W.M.: Architectural Rendering Techniques: A Color Reference, Wiley, 1985. Sadler, S.: Archigram - Architecture without architecture, The MIT Press Cambridge, Massachusetts London, 2005. White, E.: A Graphic Vocabulary for Architectural Presentation, Architectural Media, 1972. Whyte, J.: Virtual Reality and the Built Environment, Architectural Press, 2002.
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