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Constructed Realities

Faked reality. The dream houses of Antonino Cardillo, lecture by Antonino Cardillo and Carolin Höfler part of the lecture series Constructed Realities by Goethe University at the Deutsche Architekturmuseum


Lecture series

Chris Dähne, Frederike Lausch, and Bettina Rudhof

The Elbphilharmonie already exists. 12 years ago, it was presented to the public in the glossy magazines and digital architecture portals and has therefore long since become a reality in our minds and part of our image of the HafenCity of Hamburg. It is questionable whether we will still feel the need to see them in real life after their completion. Is the audience’s desire for reality through the visual media already satisfied? Would the perception of the building give us something new, something we desire?

Starting from a medium of architectural discipline —⁠ the model, visualisation, photography, parametric programming and smart ambiences —⁠ on the one hand, the complex interrelationship between the understanding of architecture and its media devices is to be addressed. On the other hand, it is important to investigate the influence of these media practises on the perception and confrontation with the real presence of the building. Why do we still have to deal with the building when we can look at design descriptions and representations presented to us much earlier?

Therefore, the question arises as to what happens to our conception of architecture under the influence of certain media practises. How much do images of architecture deceive us? Or do we mimetically construct our reality via the media and what are the consequences?

    Faked Reality. Antonino Cardillo’s dream houses
    1 December 2015,Deutsches Architekturmuseum
    Introduction: Chris Dähne and Frederike Lausch
    Project presentation: Antonino Cardillo (Trapani/ Italy Architect)
    Guest lecture: Carolin Höfler (Technische Hochschule Köln)
    Discussion \ Moderation: Chris Dähne and Frederike Lausch
  2. MODEL
    From analog to digital. Design processes at Frank O. Gehry
    19 January 2016, Deutsches Filminstitut/ Filmmuseum
    Architecture without designers. Programming with Karamba 3D
    3 February 2016, Deutsches Architekturmuseum
    Built pictures. Between architectural documentation and reinvention
    16 February 2016, Deutsches Architekturmuseum
    Constructed realities. Intertwining of virtual and real world
    1 March 2016, Deutsches Architekturmuseum

Faked reality

Antonino Cardillo

Every story claims to be true. So what do we talk about when we talk about reality? And what do we talk about when we talk about fakes? Is Architecture imagination? Does it have a literary nature? Is it an attempt to understand the invisible? Is Architecture an idea? Or is it just a strategy to support business and developing? So what are we talking about when we talk about Architecture? […]

Deutsche Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt am Main

Deutsche Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt am Main.

Models in reality.
The digital image promises of Antonino Cardillo

Carolin Höfler

In 2010, the design magazine H.O.M.E. published a visually powerful article about the House of Convexities of the Italian architect Antonino Cardillo in Spain. Previously, Cardillo had been named one of the 30 most important young architects in the London magazine Wallpaper*. He had supplied numerous print and Internet media with his designs and gave the impression that his pictures showed physically built rooms. In reality, however, it was photorealistic computer rendering without reference to a realised building. The Austrian journalist Peter Reischer finally uncovered the confusion between the images.

The question of why Cardillo’s deception had succeeded was discussed many times. The reason for his success was above all the sensational and profit greed of the media, which lack journalistic precision and control. In addition, his approach was considered a criticism of the common architectural practice, according to which architects without construction experience would have no chance of receiving an order, which is why they would be forced to deceive. On the other hand, the question of why Cardillo’s images, which can be easily recognised as renderings, were preferred to photographs or even perceived as photographs, remained underexposed.

A possible explanation for this would be that the differences between image, model and reality are increasingly sharpened in current architectural production. On the one hand, the built reality is increasingly similar to the photorealistic aesthetics of computer images, on the other hand, the post-processing of digital photographs contributes to the fact that they act like model renderings. To rethink the relationship between image and construction, the emergence of an architectural type that can be described as ‘iconic building’ also challenges. It aims to create marketable images that successfully circulate in a global image cycle and can appeal to a mass audience emotionally rather than intellectually. The lecture is dedicated to the digital images of Cardillo under the comprehensive perspective of a summary of image, model and reality and reflects his designs as ‘global visuals’.

007 James Bond Moonraker and Ellipse 1501 House

Carolin Höfler, ‘Ken Adam’s 007 James Bond Moonraker production design and Antonino Cardillo’s Ellipse 1501 House’, keynote, p. 8.

Faked reality. The dream houses of Antonino Cardillo

Goethe‑Universität’s Constructed Realities lecture series poster ‘Faked reality. The dream houses of Antonino Cardillo’ at the Deutschen Architekturmuseum.