DB: how closely do you work with an architecture firm when you are developing images for them? how much creative freedom do you have?
TGA+MA: the surprising truth is that the closer you work with someone, the more creative freedom you get. we want it to be personal. we think of our clients as having trusted us with their reputation. it would be shameful to abuse that trust. we have abused that trust in the past and it keeps us awake at night. as we get older it becomes more important to be able to stand behind our work, and we can not do that unless we have absolute creative freedom.
fedje hotel designed by saunders architecture
DB: how important is it to create an atmosphere or tell a particular story to make your renderings stand out from the crowd?
TGA+MA: for an image to truly have impact, it needs to look different than anything else out there. despite common beliefs, most architects are bound by convention and afraid to take risks. this means that truly effective images are outside most architects’ comfort zone. our goal is to make the brave architects into stars.
TGA+MA (continued): we think of our images more like emotions than stories; like a song without lyrics. the idea of a story implies that you have something to tell, which we don’t have — we have something to show. our goal is to make purely visually-oriented images. we want the narrative or concept to be hidden in metatext rather than being flaunted in public.
cabin project designed by norwegian painter vebjørn sand and his brother aune sand
DB: how do you develop projects with your studio? do different members of your team have different strengths?
TGA+MA: we are all human beings. one day we are on top of the world, the next we just want to disappear in a black hole. strength is relative. as a rule of thumb, everyone has the opportunity to shine, knowing that they have a backup should things fall apart. a safety net allows for more experimental acrobatics. each artist has complete artistic freedom over each image. but the work is curated in part by us as studio principals and in part by the collective.
garden for a private client in china designed by jensen & skodvin
DB: can you tell us about a particularly satisfying recent image or commission, and why you enjoyed this project so much?
TGA+MA: we are truly grateful to everyone who trusts us with their projects. but above all, we have to thank jensen & skodvin, asif khan, and ricardo bofill taller de arquitectura for being brave and trusting us to a different level than we were used to in the past. all of them helped us find ways to use intuition and heart in our work. before working with them, we didn’t trust that we could be personal in our work, and we didn’t trust that we could make a huge enough difference for our clients. thanks in part to the collaboration with them, we are now much more confident in the value of our own perspective; that our spirit is a spice that can make big changes for people.
eco resort in portugal designed by ricardo bofill taller de arquitectura
DB: looking back, how would you describe the evolution of your work over the years?
TGA+MA: we used to make images based on pride and vanity. we wanted to WIN and to prove to everyone that we were the best. we didn’t care about our clients, we cared about our portfolio. multiple burnouts, depressions and a couple of mid-life crises later, we realized that we needed to find a better motivation in our work — and in life too actually.