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The Strange, Soothing World of Instagram’s Computer-Generated Interiors

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Last spring, several months into the pandemic, a series of images appeared on Instagram, depicting a luxury home nestled into the cliffs of the Scala dei Turchi, on the coast of Italy. The building appeared to be sculpted from cream-colored adobe, and its rounded, uncovered windows and doors looked out over a peaceful aquamarine sea. Furniture by Gerd Lange for Bofinger and Le Corbusier sat invitingly by an ocean-fed pool; inside, Picasso ceramics were arranged artfully around a minimalist seating area and bathed in early-afternoon light. The residence, Villa Saraceni, was the work of designers Riccardo Fornoni and Charlotte Taylor. It also didn’t exist in real life: the house was built with rendering software, and its design was entirely speculative. In reality, the Scala dei Turchi is a tourist destination that has seen erosion and damage from overuse. In 2007, the surrounding municipality applied to designate the area a UNESCO World Heritage site, and last year it was seized by Italian authorities concerned with its preservation. Still, some admirers of Villa Saraceni were transfixed to the point of sending booking inquiries. “Gorgeous,” one Instagram user commented. “Do they rent?”

Instagram is full of such images: living rooms, patios, bedrooms, and estates that do not and will never exist. The pictures are strangely soothing, with their fanciful palettes, evocative silhouettes, and enticing water features. Sunken living rooms are full of pillows, or clouds; spiral staircases are wrapped in cyan glass. Against the backdrop of something resembling the Mediterranean, a striking, ergonomically nonviable chaise lounge is flanked by two human-size vases and a climatically confused cactus. A high-ceilinged, white-tiled, cerulean spa offers arched, curtained relaxation nooks painted in soft pink. Atop a brass-plated console table, in front of a geometric, color-blocked backsplash, a floral arrangement seems to be suffering, in a dash of realism, from dehydration. The spaces project order and calm, and rely on a visual vocabulary of affluence, indulgence, and restraint. They are uncluttered and private; welcoming but undamaged by human use. They are also slightly sterile. Although some incorporate hints of activity—a rumpled bedspread, an open magazine placed poolside—the spaces are uninhabited. An important part of the fantasy, it seems, is the absence of other people.

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A home with a pool and various places to lounge.The 3-D-modelling software used to design digital interiors lends itself to certain elements, such as plastics, curves, and soft light. Space design and rendering by Nareg Taimoorian and Charlotte Taylor

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/rabbit-holes/the-strange-soothing-world-of-instagrams-computer-generated-interiors

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