Concept Art vs Architecture

Work from Feng Zhu Design blog

Due to my artistic proclivities I am drawn to industrial design, or entertainment concept design (see FZD School of Design’s YouTube channel to see what I’m talking about.)  I oftentimes consider what the fundamental differences are between this type of media-driven conceptual work and the work of an architect.  What about the differences between architects and Hollywood set designers, cinematographers, or directors?  All are creating spatial experiences in one form or another and there are surely some crossovers in skills.  However, I was thinking today that there is one intrinsic characteristic that seems to set architecture apart from all else, which is this:

The media artist or industrial designer bases his work off imagery that has already proven successful.  He might push this envelope a bit or add his own style to it, but, in the end, he is constrained by what the public can easily accept, readily identify with, and quickly buy into.

The architect, on the other hand, is free to invert all conceptions, analyze time and space from new or unexplored perspectives, and foment completely new paradigms that might create far-reaching change.  The media designer pushes envelopes in the pursuit of marketing – the architect destroys and rebuilds envelops in the pursuit of a better world.

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