Artificial Architecture Is the Calming Inspo Your Insta Feed Needs


Looking at images of escapist architecture makes us feel nostalgic about places we’ve never ever been. And in fact, the dreamscapes created by artists like Alexis Christodoulou, Paul Milinski, and Hayden Clay Williams, are places no one has ever been — because they don’t actually exist.

While the dreamlike-scenes may take inspiration from real life — incorporating real-life objects like designer furniture or real-life materials — they’re created entirely via digital mediums, and thus appear somehow more beautiful and refined than even the most stunning of natural sights.

Elli Stuhler, editor of Dreamscapes & Artificial Architecture — a newly released book from Gestalten about these CGI scenes from around 100 designers who are doing it best — says the “utopian environments” created by these artists are, more often than not, filled with exquisite decor and environmental components like plants and flowers, that despite how harmonious they appear in the dreamscape, could never be brought to life due to their gravity-defying nature architecture.

“It has underlying themes similar from artist to artist; pastel-hued skies, floating spherical objects, and ultra-inviting bodies of water,” Stuhler tells Architectural Digest. “There is something so pleasing about these impossible, utopian environments, and of course that’s not an accident.”

In 2020, the trend of artificial architecture has taken off on Instagram as people look for moments of blissful escape from the monotony and sometimes ugliness in their day-to-day.

Designers are also beginning to see how imagined dreamscapes can help them best show off their products. Recently, Australian furniture designer Sarah Ellison enlisted the help of Berlin-based digital artist Hannes Lippert to help show her new Yoko bedframe in picture-perfect environments, as seen in the Instagram images below.

If you find you’re hooked from the calmness these renders bring already, then following a few artists is a great way to break up your cycle of doom-scrolling and reward your eyes with a visual treat.

As for who to follow, we have a few ideas.

Alexis Christodoulou / @teaaalexis

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Butterflies in an underground cave emoji

A post shared by Alexis Christodoulou (@teaaalexis) on

Form & Rausch Studio / @formundrausch

Paul Milinski / @paul_milinski

Jessica Ticchio / @jessicaticchio


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A post shared by Jessica Ticchio (@jessicaticchio)

Andrés Reisinger / @reisingerandres

Hugo Fournier / @hugo.fournier

Carlos Neda / @riviersneda

Peter Tarka / @petertarka

Simon Kaempfer / @kaeptive

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