Interview with the talented founders of Recent Spaces

Recent Spaces are a London-based architectural and design visualisation studio founded by Alex York and Iain Banks.

We spoke with Co-founding partner Alex York about starting the business and the challenges along the way.


What was the motivation behind starting your own company?

I was running my own successful micro-studio for about eight years prior to co-founding Recent Spaces, and Iain had been freelancing for various well-known studios for a long time too. We had also worked together for a few years before that. We both felt it was the right time to start something new, combine our skills and experience and create a new studio with a fresh take on things. We could take all the best techniques we’d picked up over the years and ditch the ones we thought would hold us back. Ultimately we and the team as a whole have a strong desire to make beautiful images of architecture and design around the world.


What is your creative process?

We like to keep things as uncomplicated as possible. By stripping down the production process we’re able to work more like virtual photographers, cinematographers and artists than technicians. There’s a lot of technical stuff that needs to be done in our line of work on a daily basis so the more of that you can simplify or remove altogether the more time we can spend exploring spaces and finding beautiful, interesting compositions, as well as finding ways to innovate, too.

Recent Spaces CGI for Cameron Design House

How do you stay inspired and at the forefront of your field?

We try to find new and original takes on images and animations, and more recently we invented a completely new way for people to interact with visual content, and their spaces and products. We are also all huge film fans and spend a lot of our time engrossed in films, documentaries and books on cinematography and film-making, as well as photography and art in general. Beyond this, we love to travel as a team and love producing photo-sets and short films. I think we probably gain as much inspiration from the natural world via photographing it as we do from architecture and the design world.

We are also all huge film fans and spend a lot of our time engrossed in films, documentaries and books on cinematography and film-making, as well as photography and art in general.


What has been your biggest challenge and success since starting?

We were expecting to find it very hard to get our name out there at the start but surprisingly this wasn’t too difficult. We very rapidly gained a strong reputation not only among our peers, which has made it pretty easy to find new talent when we need it, but also among our clients and the wider industry. I’d say that finding a balanced rate of growth in dealing with increasing demand has been our main challenge so far. We’re just now starting to take on full-time staff and to build up a more solid foundation from which to grow and take on larger and larger projects, which is very exciting.


Why was getting the right branding for your business important?

Branding and design is critical to name recognition and being remembered by our clients when they are looking for studios to pitch to for their projects. The branding you created with us is extremely strong and memorable and has played an important role in the success of our business. Thank you!


Recent Spaces CGI’s for Cameron Design House

What is the future for Recent Spaces?

We’re trying very hard not to allow ourselves to get too carried away with rapid growth, which is often a major challenge for studios in our position. That said, we have a great deal of optimism about the coming months and years and there are a number of very unique and exciting projects we’re hoping to be involved with, not to mention the last year or so’s worth of work we’re soon to publish. It’s going to be busy!


A big thank you to the team at Recent Spaces for contributing to our series of interviews with industry experts.

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