“It all started with my father who’s a developer,” Adam Divino tells AD PRO of his beginnings in Houston. “I grew up around blueprints.” Creative from a young age, Divino has now found a way to marry his familiarity with blueprints and his passion for his own design.
By day, he runs L.A.-based Z-Rendering, an architectural rendering firm that creates visuals for the likes of Marmol Radziner, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, and David Kleinberg (to name a few). On the side, he designs clothing with patterns inspired by the neoclassical architecture of Pompeii under the label House of Divino.
“I look at fashion patterns as blueprints for clothing,” Divino explains. It’s an apt exercise for Divino. In turn, the imaginative creativity and deftness with pattern exhibited in his clothing line make Divino especially suited to working with fellow creatives at his rendering business.
AD PRO caught up with the multi-hyphenate to learn more about how architects and designers can make the most of their renderings.
AD PRO: What do you wish more of your architect and designer clients knew about the rendering process?
Adam Divino: We build everything from scratch in a CG space. That being said, it helps us to have all pertinent design information at the time of starting a render. If we have all the architect/designers project files (this includes CAD plans, furniture / design information, measurements, etc.), we can easily complete 95% of the job with room for final touches and revisions.
AD PRO: What is a normal timeline for you?
__AD:__If we have all the information at the beginning, we typically take 48-72 hours for a first draft, and update with revisions every 48 hours until the job is brought to completion.
A shirt from House of Divino.
Photo: Courtesy of House of Divino
AD PRO: Why are good renderings so important?
AD: Renderings are to architects and designers as words are to writers. They give an ability to visualize their intent and to further impress their own clients. Renderings are a complete luxury, and for those who have a mind for luxury and the aspect of gift giving; the best gift you could ever give your client is a visualization of what you’re developing for them. It shows you care about your vision as an artist to such a degree that you are employing other qualified artists to assist in making the vision you are selling to your client a reality.
AD PRO: How can architects and designers best leverage renderings?
AD: By utilizing them past the client presentation. Renderings can be used in portfolios as well as in internal marketing efforts like “coming soon” materials, which give the public an image to focus on while construction is happening. A rendering is a creation of your own that you can share with others who may not be able to immediately bring themselves into your mind as a designer or architect to see what you are seeing.
AD PRO: What’s the most important part of your interaction with designers during the process?
AD: I want to provide a luxury experience, so the most important part of my interaction with my clients is letting them know we are here for them. I like to sort of act like a first class flight attendant, with a grace and willingness to serve; that lets my clients know they can relax and enjoy the flight. Upon landing, they are handed their final renders.
A Marmol Radziner project rendered by Divino.
__AD PRO:__How do you think your own work as a creative allows you to work better with designers within the rendering company?
AD: It’s allowed me to see the renderings as more than objects being sold, and more as artworks being perfected. Since my life is revolved around guiding creative, I’ve personally had to learn to let go of my ego at times, and to just allow the natural flow of things to take care of themselves. Since I spend so much time around creative, I’ve learned to establish relationships based on qualities which are diplomatic and stress free. For me, it’s always boiled down to a flawless vision, and guiding creatives towards the execution of it. I think my own work with creatives allows me to work better with designers, in the same way a coach’s appreciation for the sport allows for him to guide a team of potential.
AD PRO: How has the rendering business changed with technology?
AD: Great question. Historically, renderings were traditionally “illustrations,” hand sketch or water color. With the wave of accessible CG technology, from the early 2000’s we began to see more CG renderings in the market. Really the first CG architectural renderings which were debuted to a mass consumer audience would be in The Sims; I feel everyone had an ability to get hands-on with technology at that point. If you were to compare a CG render from 1990 to 95 to 2000 to 2005 to 2010 to today; you would see the business is constantly evolving towards the realms of higher photo-realism. For me, that means it’s more important than ever to curate a team of artists who embody the latest in current technologies to create work that is on the leading edge of what is possible with our tools here and now.
A hotel concept by Rottet Studio.
AD PRO: How do you see it continuing to change in the next few years?
AD: I see it moving to higher and higher realms of photo-realism paired with experiential. I can see a time where a firm would present their rendering via VR headsets, to better guide their clients through the space.
AD PRO: What was the coolest project you’ve worked on?
AD: I’d have to say the W Hotel Hollywood interior renovation by Forchielli Glynn. Most my clients and projects I work on are outside of my locality. But this one was right in the heart of Hollywood, and so it was something I could discuss with friends of mine.
AD PRO: Any no nos for renderings?
AD: Haha! Not really – we are very accommodating. Instead of a “no no” I’ll suggest a “yes yes.” A major “yes yes” for us is receiving a full package with all the clients finalized information: CAD plans, furniture + design specs including measurements and all that jazz. Anything and everything you can imagine we would need, to bring back exactly what they want completed, is a major “yes yes.”
The “no no” that makes me create this “yes yes” is getting only half the package to start with. As you can see, it sort of throws a wrench into our machinery in term of timelines and workflow. It’s so much easier for us to have everything we need at the start of a job, rather than in the middle or to the end of it.