We’re glad to introduce the interview with Fernando Tirado from the Masterclass#21 & Alejandro Samaniego from the Masterclass#22.
Hi Nando, Hi Alejandro, could you present yourself to our readers and tell them the position you currently hold?
Nando: I am an Architect, urban planner, 3D artist, dog lover, tattoo enthusiast and founder of the studio.
I started my career working as visiting professor and architect in Quito – Ecuador. Before the studio I worked with Unite Atelier Architecture as Founding Partner, Project Designer directing the design of architecture projects and competitions, both large and small scale, until late 2010 when Square Voxel was founded.
Alejandro: I first fell in love with ArchViz at architecture school, and spent any free time I had reading tutorials and trying stuff out. Soon after graduating I spent a year in Argentina studying 3d. After that I went back to Ecuador and started working at a Constructing company, but never gave up the passion and freelance work in 3d. Then in 2016 I attended the Masterclass#22 and the rest is history.
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You attended two different Masterclasses, how did you guys meet and decided to work together?
Nando: We met back in 2003 at university. After school each one took different paths. Eventually, I was doing CGI more than designing so it was only a matter of time until I closed the architectural firm in 2010 and focused on Square Voxel.
Alex was managing a contractor company, building more than 300,000 square meters but always doing CGI in his spare time (as it used to be in school). He has always been passionate about ArchViz. So when I realized that he had attended a Masterclass in 2016, I immediately called him to offer a partnership in Square Voxel. We have been working together since then.
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What were the biggest difficulties you faced when establishing your own Studio? How did you handle and overcome them?
Well, the Studio was already established with a clear inner pipeline and an organized process to address clients so the biggest difficulty we encountered was the local market. After a while, new clients started to value our work; consequently the benefits raised.
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How was your experience at SOA?
Besides the training, the most satisfying experience at SOA is the people and the network after that. Now we have friends around the world; friends that love this industry and every time we can, we share memories, news or even tips and tricks.
Why did you decide to attend a SOA course?
Well, we knew that SOA is unquestionably one of the best schools in the world and of course the Euro trip is something that you are not going to miss if you are in Italy for a month.
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How did the course help you improve your skillset and quality of images?
It brought us a different set of tools; in that way our skills were more effective to manage different projects and nowadays that skills open an increasing inspiration to keep improving.
Is there any moment during your experience at SOA that you remember with a smile?
Sure, we set up an outdoor barbecue at Villa Lisetta. We enjoyed good food, some drinks and we really got the opportunity to know Roberto and Gianpiero.
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Is there a work/ an image/ a project that you created that is most valuable to you? Why?
Everything has value for us: from the projects with the best clients to the worst image that no one is going to see ever. Of course, if you publish something, you like that image(s) but eventually, with every work, you learn something and start appreciating the job even with bad experiences.
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What do you do in your free time after work? Can you balance your working life and your private one?
We have different ways to enjoy our spare time but in the end, we are so in love with our work that we use some free time to look for inspiration and nice images in social media.
SOA Academy is
once in a lifetime experience you should try if you want to learn and make new friends. Then you can come back as many times because SOA is full of amazing courses.
Fernando & Alejandro
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