Juan Alberto Andrade first ventured into photographing architecture as a whim, when he was an architecture student, and he used it to learn more about “how to craft architecture”. He and Cuqui Rodriguez, who studied medicine before changing to multimedia and audiovisual communication, founded JAG Studio in Guayaquil in 2013. Their idea was to set up a connection between the architecture and its communication, specifically in view of the rapid development of digital media as great allies in disseminating Made in Ecuador projects. Because the JAG Studio duo is well aware that images can be “a very powerful weapon for architecture”. This is reflected in their work, which takes the design message out of the local level and makes it international, by disseminating the specifics and beauty of Ecuadorian architecture at the global level.
So, the duo decided to create some efficient visual records that tell the story of the building and the project on the one hand and are a narrative of the creators and their way of seeing and interpreting the constructions on the other. So it is easy to see that in all their images humans or animals feature in the composition and visual story, in other words, this has now become their personal touch. Indeed, in recent years, these architecture photographers have often brought to the public notice architecture and architects otherwise mostly unknown and outside the focus of the traditional media.
Befittingly, Juan Alberto Andrade names Julius Shulman as one of his favourite architecture photographers. This great master introduced the human element in architecture photography, but Andrade also alludes to Jesús Granada and Fernando Guerra.
A few years ago, JAG Studio began to broaden its horizons by using short videos for its architecture storytelling. Their poetry and delicacy allow the viewer to see hidden sides and qualities of architecture that may, at first sight, appear to be austere, a typical trait of most Ecuadorian architecture, here made intelligible by cleverly documenting the use of the buildings. In other words, for Juan Alberto Andrade and Cuqui Rodriguez, there are always new ways to get the architectural message across, something that allows the creative duo to reinvent themselves every day, to their delight.