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Creative director, visual effects artist Carlos Fueyo inspires students to blur the line between architecture and film

Creative director, visual effects artist Carlos Fueyo inspires students to blur the line between architecture and film

February 18, 2020 at 11:30am

Creative director and visual effects designer Carlos Fueyo '08 has cultivated a successful career blending the two things he loves most – architecture and film. Fueyo recently attended FIU’s School of Architecture D3E conference where he met with students to review their portfolios and give a keynote speech, Designing Cinematography.

Fueyo's presentation highlighted his passion for digital designs, which his mentors observed when he was in FIU's architecure program. 

“When Carlos was a student in my class, I could never get him to bring in his models,” says John Stuart, associate dean for cultural and community engagement and executive director of Miami Beach Urban Studios. “He would have these beautiful designs and he would only ever show them to me on his computer. It took me a while but I finally figured out why – they were all designed entirely on his computer, there was never a physical model.”

Fueyo has held a deep appreciation for visual effects since he was a child. He constantly questioned how the designs and animation for cartoons were made, but it wasn’t until he was in school that he began to see the connection between visual effects and architecture.

“I chose to study architecture, and I’ve never had a doubt about it,” Fueyo says. “I’ve always loved architecture. But while I was in school, I began to think more about film because there is a lot of similarities between the two.”

D3E (Designers Engage, Empower, Emerge) was an all-day conference that brought together School of Architecture students, design professionals, educators and manufacturer representatives for a variety of workshops. Students learned about different career paths within the industry, received feedback on their portfolios and resumes and were introduced to cutting-edge ideas that encouraged them to rethink the way they design. 

While in school, Fueyo was inspired by American film director Joseph Kosinski, who at the time owned a production studio called KD Lab. Kosinski was a trained architect who graduated from Columbia University and went on to blur the boundaries between architecture, film and graphics.

“My first year studying architecture, I reached out to Kosinski’s studio, but never heard back,” he adds. “Years later, I was actually able to work with him on a commercial for Assassin’s Creed.”

Fueyo now has more than 15 years of experience working on films, commercials, game cinematics and dark rides. His work in the film industry included creating visual effects and computer graphic environments through modeling, lighting, texturing and animation for films like Priest, Super 8, Independence Day: Resurgence, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol – which he relates back to the core design techniques present in architecture.  

“Working in film shows you that there’s so much more that goes into making a movie than we realize,” says Fueyo. “Just like with architecture, interior or landscape every little detail has to be created.”

Fueyo is currently the creative director of playard studios, a production, post-production and creative studio based out of Miami Beach Urban Studios that experiments with multimedia content, including documentary films, augmented reality and virtual reality experiences and 3D printing.

At the conference, Fueyo gave the School of Architecture students a piece of advice.

“If you see someone out there who you feel inspired by, contact them. You never know what will come of it and always remember your personal projects matter. It’s not just about what you do in your offices. Put those things in your portfolio, have a voice and make it shine.”

The D3E conference, held at the GC Ballrooms, appealed to students from all three School of Architecture disciplines – architecture, interiors, and landscape architecture + environmental and urban design. About 250 attendees made up of 150 students and 100 professionals representing more than 60 design firms and 24 FIU alumni participated in the event.

See a full list of films Fueyo has worked on.