The FreeGreen house design competition voting period has ended. And even though my project wasn’t one of the official finalists, I did still manage to collect 32 votes (which would have put me in the middle third of the finalists). Thanks once again to everyone who voted for my entry. I would have liked to have more comments and feedback, but I’m glad a few people bothered to look.

Since the entry wasn’t on the main page, there were far fewer views than any of the official finalists had. Italia9 got 32 votes in 315 views. The apparent winner in the Traditional category got 367 votes in 3006 views. That’s a similar ratio of votes to views. But there were others that had 400-700 views that only got 10-20 votes (and one only got 3).

It looks to me like the designs that got the most votes tended to be the ones with very realistic renderings and had realistic figures in them. Maybe that’s what’s appealing in a voting context, since it looks most ‘real.’ But would that really be what people would gravitate towards if they wanted to find a plan not just to vote for, but that they would actually buy and use to build a home for themselves? Or would that sense of it being too finished, and not able to be adapted and adjusted for their needs, turn them off from it?

I’ve always thought that architectural designs should be sketchier, and less hyper-realistic, because reality never matches the glossy CGI. It’s better to trigger the imagination than to try to make a representation of something that won’t really turn out the way it is shown. But then, I think plan houses are about selling a product, rather than engaging the imagination and participation of the buyer, so maybe that’s the right approach for them.

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