Into the Uncanny Valley

Architectural renderings are not photographs; or are they? Visit the website of almost any architecture firm and try to discern among the elegant project thumbnails which are photographs and which are digital renderings. But why does the distinction between real and unreal, true and fake, matter at all? Why does it matter to architecture?

It is disconcerting when we can’t quite sort out the relationship of an image to the world.




  • Aaron Rothman
  • Belmont Freeman

Gabrielle Esperdy

Gabrielle Esperdy is a columnist for Places. She is associate professor of architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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Aaron Rothman

Aaron Rothman is an artist and writer whose work explores contemporary issues in landscape.

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David Heymann

David Heymann is a columnist for Places. He is an architect, and the Harwell Hamilton Harris Regents Professor in Architecture at the University of Texas, Austin.

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Belmont Freeman

Belmont Freeman is a columnist for Places. He is principal of Belmont Freeman Architects, an award-winning design firm in New York City.

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