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Illustrator: Serge Zaleski

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VAD Exhibition


This work will form part of the largest ever exhibition of architectural illustration to be shown in conjunction with the International Union of Architects (UIA) Conference to be held in Tokyo later this year. The Exhibition is being organised by ASAI President, Masaaki Yamada, who has also invited SAI (UK), JARA (Japan), KAPA (Korea), PHAAR (Phillipines), Chrystal Graphics (China) to participate. AAAI was invited to submit submit 15 works and with 10,000 delegates expected, this is an opportunity not to be missed. AAAI members are also invited to the Exhibition opening and to participate in the ASAI and UIA conferences.

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Visualizing  Architectural Design Exhibition

These images were chosen by our distinguished jury, Chris Grubbs, Jon Kletzien and Philip Follent, for inclusion in the AAAI Visualizing Architectural Design (VAD) Exhibition, opening in Tokyo, 26th September, 2011.

The jury spent many hours viewing the large number of images submitted and when making their final selection, were able to view the full selection online, discuss and comment simultaneously. While every jury member had their own subjective criteria, the balance of the jury’s expertise and professional experience resulted in a thorough discussion on the merit of each work: the image’s composition, the mastery of technique, whether it was telling a story. Commiserations to those members that did not get in - there were some very difficult decisions to make. I can assure you that careful attention was paid to all the images - the competition was tough!

Taking advantage of our jury's enthusiasm and expertise, we asked them to pick a "Best of Show" and comment on their own personal favourites.

Jane Grealy

If you have any questions about the process or exhibition,

contact Jane Grealy at

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Significant dates

  • Early April: announcement of selected entries on AAAI website
  • June: artwork delivery to Navis Art, Tokyo (details available later)
  • August: framing completed, payment due.
  • 25th September-2nd October: ASAI and UIA Conferences, Tokyo
  • 26th September: Exhibition Opening
  • October: Exhibition closing

Stantiall 950

Ian Stantiall

End of Day - End of Wharf

I just got back from a very lovely evening. It wasn’t a real experience in a place that even exists yet. I was inhabiting a wonderful drawing.

As were many of this year’s submissions, this drawing describes its scene with great technical sophistication and skill. But here is one thing that makes this work stand out as something quite special: Once the technique leads me into this fictional place it immediately fades away from my consciousness, leaving me here to be in the place, to enjoy the view.

This drawing does what a good architectural illustration must do: it explains the physical nature of its architectural subject – how the thing is built, how big it is, how it is used. But this drawing takes us one step further: it also explores the emotional nature of its architectural subject – how one might likely feel in such a place and why.

Ian’s drawing has invited me into a quiet evening, just past sundown. The place is public but its not one of those razzle-dazzle resorts: in it I am not too crowded, nor am I assaulted by too many demands made on my attention. I feel a healthy balance between quietude and the promise of recreation. Along the wharf from a distance I encounter holiday visitors, each one pleasantly self-absorbed, pursuing the low-key pleasures of a sleepy seaside village. They are in no hurry. They look as if they would like to linger well past sunset. So would I.
How this promise of wellbeing is accomplished defies explanation. But here are some ideas. First, the ample horizontal formatting, the composition and proportion of architecture to landscape to water give this place a relaxed, languid feel. The people are rendered quietly, contributing to the sense of communal calm. Their distance from the viewer keeps them from commandeering the scene and weds them to the village. The chosen time of day immediately lets you know that their workday is done. It’s time to relax.

Technically the dim light allows for no jarringly sharp contrasts or glaring hot spots. All is calm here – as it should be. But its the quality of light that sets this vision on its way. It is simply lovely to look at. It is possible to see this kind of lighting condition anywhere we may be - at work or at play. But here is seems to be an inevitability that expresses so much of the mission of this place: to give people a respite, a bit of pleasure. Some joy.

Christopher Grubbs

Butcher 450

Philip Follent Juror's Choice

John Butcher


This is my pick of the entries....a deceptively simple photo-realistic work where the variation of light levels, the model's difficult-to-achieve shadow and the seemingly unorchestrated arrangement of scattered objects demand that the viewer discern its true identity. Is it photo or digital illustration? The somewhat restless nature of the water surface gives a clue to the latter.

Just the right balance of hazy images, wet surfaces and well scaled model coax the viewer into the scene to "feel" the atmosphere. This is a masterful composition.

Philip Follent

Edgeley 450

Jon Kletzien Juror's Choice

Peter Edgeley


This is the sort of sketch we would all like to do. It looks like it is a spontaneous effort, quickly dashed off, adding glamour and confidence to a scheme still in an early design stage. Its success as a drawing is no accident, however. The artist, Peter Edgeley, is supremely confident with his bold strokes. He knows how to suggest people, place shadows, mass trees, draw the viewer in - the right amount of dash, a fearless choice of colour, abstract blocking of shapes, command of pencil tone and line. You can almost imagine, right at the end – an experienced look over, a flick of the wrist, some touches of white - the drawing is done!

Jon Kletzien

Turski 350jpg

click on image to see larger version

Christopher Grubbs Juror's Choice

Michael Turski

FIFA Flag Ship Store, Saunders Global

This year’s field of submissions was very strong and surprisingly diverse. A large number of them particularly appealed to me, prodding me to think a bit more deeply about what constitutes a Good Drawing.

As a result, and despite my considerable bias towards hand drawn work, I was surprised to make an unlikely yet quite logical Juror’s pick: Michael Turski’s image of the FIFA Flag Ship Store.

I like this work more for what it doesn’t say than for what it does.

The World’s Oldest Cliché is that “ A picture is worth a thousand words.” This image reminds me that you needn’t use them all. And this is important to remember.

An architectural illustration has a voice. It is a picture that tells a story. Depending on the intent of the illustrator the story can be a compelling one, also a bad one, a boring one, a wrong one, one that is too ambitious, one that meanders.

Of all the challenges to success (technical proficiency, low budgets, pushy clients) there is one inevitable gaping pitfall that awaits every architectural illustrator who starts any drawing: one’s freedom to make graphic choices, quite reasonable ones on their own, that together can so easily add up to a muddled, inarticulate story. An illustrator is an advocate who must self-edit.

Nearly all these submissions speak with a coherent voice. But the FIFA image stands out in that it chooses, intentionally or not, to avoid the impulse to be all-inclusive. Tightly composed, it offers us an architectural aesthetic made up of three key elements: product presentation (the FIFA “look”), the selected materials (high tech and shiny) and patterning (presented as a nearly abstract collage of grids, triangles and perforations). That is all that needs be said.

I could have been shown the entire room replete with milling crowds entering and exiting from an out of doors on a rainy afternoon. But showing me everything may ultimately leave me with a memory of nothing in particular. This drawing’s success is in how clearly it talks about only what it wants to. And I get it.

Christopher Grubbs

The Jurors

Chris Grubbs 150
Kletzien 150
Follent 150

Christopher Grubbs

Jon Kletzien

Philip Follent

Christopher Grubbs' illustration career began as a student, drawing for R. Buckminster Fuller's "Old Man River" domed city project for East Saint Louis, Illinois. He has drawn for the National September 11 Memorial, New York, the Walt Disney Family Foundation Library, Crissy Field in San Francisco, master plans for historic Charleston, the Grand Canyon Village Interpretive Center, Beijing Financial District, Shanghai Riverfront, Hong Kong, Washington D.C. and the 2000 Sydney Olympics. His drawing skills have lead him to become a design consultant at Yellowstone National Park, for New Orlean's Broadmoor neighborhood, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington D.C., and major urban master plans throughout China. Extensive plein air drawing studies include the post-Katrina New Orleans urban fabric and New Zealand's agricultural shelter belts.
A Visiting Assistant Professor at Washington University in Saint Louis, he has lectured and held workshops at Colorado State University, Montana State University, Rhode Island School of Design, the University of California at Berkeley.
Recipient of 17 Awards of Excellence from ASAI, Chris earned their highest honor, the Hugh Ferriss Memorial Prize in 2005.
Jon Kletzien is an architectural illustrator, partner, and co-founder of studioamd (est.1992). He has been working closely with the images, clients and the full range of project types and scales that have come through the studios office from the Sochi 2014 Olympics for HOK, to private residences for Richard Meier. In addition to his role as creative director at the studio for the last 15 years Mr. Kletzien has taught architectural drawing at his alma mater, the Rhode Island School of Design, and is a frequent lecturer, including the keynote speaker for the 2007 Design Communication Association conference. Jon is a former Treasurer and President of the American Society of Architectural Illustrators, and has served on the ASAI annual jury.
Jon's excellence in his chosen field of digital illustration is evidenced by the remarkable achievement of having won ASAI's highest award the Hugh Ferriss Memorial Award twice - in 2010 and previously in 1997 with the first ever digital image to be so recognised.
Philip Follent opened his Gold Coast practice in1982, attracting the attention of State and national architectural peers who bestowed over 20 awards for buildings ranging in type from cafes to schools and residential projects. His interest in environmental wellbeing and efforts protecting of the Gold Coast’s natural assets was recognized by a Golden GECKO Award from the Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council in 1994.
Lecturing in Architectural Design and Theory at the Queensland University of Technology, Philip won Lecturer of the Year across all QUT campuses in 1996. Philip became the inaugural Gold Coast City Council Architect in 2003, a position that enabled him to influence the quality of private development and Council projects. The Australian Institute of Architects awarded him life Fellowship in 2007 for exceptional contribution to architecture.
In 2008, Philip was appointed the Queensland Government Architect, providing state-wide leadership to both the government and the profession in relation to better architecture and urban outcomes, while also holding the Chair of the Board for Urban Places. Philip is the Founding Head of the Soheil Abedian School of Architecture Bond University on the Gold Coast.