On an Island with Kolten, Linear Design House

This month we met up with Kolten Altrogge of Linear Design House. We first worked with Kolten while building a new website for KSA Group back in 2016. He was employed there as an Architectural Technologist before branching off on his own to start Linear. So sit back, grab a beer (and one for Kolten), and learn a thing or two about 3D renderings.

Island: Tell us about Linear Design House?

Kolten Altrogge: Linear Design is an architectural design studio owned and operated by myself. Typically, I am working on some sort of residential project. Sometimes, it is more building science related, giving advice or detailed drawings on specific construction situations. And sometimes, my focus is more directed to design, working with the client to create a custom solution for their specific needs. That being said, I have found myself working on very unique projects, like my most recent collaboration with the good folks at Island to create some renderings for one of their clients.

Island:Where does your website and digital presence fit within the success of your business?

KA: I think the world can move away from goofy radio adds that hardly explain your business and instead we can self promote with the help of all of these platforms.

I think it’s pretty cool that we have such great control over our own promotion and advertisement.

The tricky part is taking it seriously and setting the time aside to do it. Most of us started using these platforms personally as a way to share with our friends and family in an informal matter. I think that is why it is hard to take it seriously when it comes to using these platforms for a business. A lack of digital presence can quickly make a business look like it’s shut down. It’s definitely not the only factor in keeping a strong business, but in this day, it is a very strong one.

Island: What is a rendering and how can that elevate my website?

KA: Rendering (in the architectural world) is a visualization tool, typically used to help your client see the vision in a less imaginative way than looking at a two dimensional set of plans. In renderings, we give more attention to the way the building will fit into its surroundings, we add people and objects to give the building a sense of relatable scale, we add lighting and materials, essentially, we try to make an image that looks as close to real life as possible.

Island: Is a rendering better than photography for my website?

KA: This depends. I believe photographs are ideal. But, there is a lot of work in setting up to get the right photographs. If you are still in the prototyping process, photographs aren’t even an option. There are lots of factors for getting great photography, but with rendering we have complete control over all of these factors. We choose everything. The surroundings and people to create the feel we want to promote, down to the natural lighting at a specific time, at a specific location.

Island: Why don’t I see more websites using renderings?

KA: I don’t think that people are aware of the possibilities renderings can offer. I also don’t think that most people really know about rendering at all. After all, if you aren’t involved somehow or another in a design community, you really don’t have a reason to know about them.

Island: What information do you need to complete a rendering?

KA: Most renderings today are produced from 3D CAD drawings. Although there are other methods, this is the most ideal method. In most cases, if a promotion is being done for something that does not exist yet (or is in its infantry) there is already CAD files to go along with it. In a case where there isn’t, they must be produced which can take quite some time.

Island: If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about incorporating renderings into their website what would it be?

KA: Just keep a wide imagination. You can take it very seriously, and try to make it as life like as possible. Or you can have your idea sitting on mars, just for the heck of it.

Island: If you were stranded on an island, what is the one thing you couldn’t live without?

KA: I’ve always enjoyed a cold beer, I think a few would be nice given the situation.