Laurian Ghinițoiu Interview

by | 04. Mar 2019

Interview | The Camera
Kazuyo Sejima, Sumida Hokusai Museum | 2017, Tokyo, Japan © Laurian Ghinitoiu. The museum‘s materiality helps to blend it into the context, without disturbing the lively plaza in front. A group of children of all ages, their mothers, both tourists and locals, are enjoying a casual afternoon.

Kazuyo Sejima, Sumida Hokusai Museum | 2017, Tokyo, Japan © Laurian Ghinitoiu. The museum‘s materiality helps to blend it into the context, without disturbing the lively plaza in front. A group of children of all ages, their mothers, both tourists and locals, are enjoying a casual afternoon.

Laurian Ghinițoiu was born in Romania where he also received his training in architecture. Moving to Germany he completed his Masters in 2014 at Dessau International Architecture (DIA) and worked for two years. Soon after he shifted his focus on photography as an instrument for the documentation of architecture and travelling around the world for self-initiated projects and commissioned assignments. In a span of a few years his images have received distinctions in international architecture photography competitions such as Arcaid Awards (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018); Sony Awards (2016); and the Architecture Photography Awards (2017, 2018); and published on Architectural Record, Phaidon, Domus, A+U, among others. He is also teaching photography seminars at the DIA and workshops in architecture schools, and co-founded another : with filmmaker Arata Mori. His approach patiently searches for visual and decisive moments where the designed and informal elements of the built environment coexist in an objective yet empathetic gaze. Through this curated selection of images Ghinitoiu takes us on a journey around the world balancing physical and social themes of the contemporary urban landscape.
Herzog & de Meuron, Switch house Tate Modern | 2016, London, UK © Laurian Ghinitoiu. The core of the new extension at Tate Modern is taken by a massive concrete stair. Heavy and curvilinear, the underneath of the stair, is broken and balanced by a vertical and invisible axis created by the visitor’s enthusiasm.

Herzog & de Meuron, Switch house Tate Modern | 2016, London, UK © Laurian Ghinitoiu. The core of the new extension at Tate Modern is taken by a massive concrete stair. Heavy and curvilinear, the underneath of the stair, is broken and balanced by a vertical and invisible axis created by the visitor’s enthusiasm.

 
BIG, Tirpitz Museum | 2017 Blåvand © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Situated next to a German bunker of the WWII, the new building seems to open itself. In contrast with the concrete monolith, the four cuts in the dunes are connecting the museum and the central plaza with the network of trails towards the dunes landscape of Blåvand.

BIG, Tirpitz Museum | 2017 Blåvand © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Situated next to a German bunker of the WWII, the new building seems to open itself. In contrast with the concrete monolith, the four cuts in the dunes are connecting the museum and the central plaza with the network of trails towards the  landscape of Blåvand.

 
Topotek1, CG City | 2016, Lucknow, India © Laurian Ghinitoiu. What seemed at the beginning a very boring shooting in the dusty landscape of India, suddenly is transformed into a unique story. 2 tanks of water, and an army of 15 workers (mostly watching and only few working) started to clean 200 sq.m of pavement and furniture to highlight the pattern and for me to be able to take photos.

Topotek1, CG City | 2016, Lucknow, India © Laurian Ghinitoiu. What seemed at the beginning a very boring shooting in the dusty landscape of India, suddenly is transformed into a unique story. 2 tanks of water, and an army of 15 workers (mostly watching and only few working) started to clean 200 sq.m of pavement and furniture to highlight the pattern to me.

Pygmalion Karatzas: Laurian, thank you for accepting the invitation to discuss and show some of your work with us here at arcspace-com. Could you tell us about your backgrounds and how did you start being involved with architectural photography?Laurian Ghinițoiu: Thank you Pygmalion for inviting me! I moved to Berlin in 2014 and worked in an architecture firm for a year after graduating from the DIA. Within the lapse of a week I found out that I wouldn’t be working at the firm I was employed at. At the same time, I got an e-mail from Wolfgang Buttress, designer of the UK Pavilion at Expo 2015 in Milan: “Good morning Laurian, we just saw your photos! They are very beautiful! We already have a lot of images, but yours are special”. I was drawn into the unknown. I could have easily turned away, but I decided to take the risk and look for my own way. What seemed very scary at the beginning transformed into a way of living, which suited me very well – a camera, a backpack, and continuous travelling. Fortunately, as an architect, all my travels were around architecture, which was mostly in the background of my photographs. Now, it became a continuous journey which gave me a more complex understanding of architecture and the world. Due to my approach, I don’t think of myself as an architecture photographer, I still consider myself an architect whose work is focused on documenting topics around the built environment.
Wolfgang Buttress, The Hive pavillion | 2015, Milan, Italy © Laurian Ghinitoiu. A design mistake of the UK pavilion? The shot was taken during the opening of the EXPO 2015 (1st of may). A layer of water covering the floor making it very slippery and dangerous. While the visitors were waiting to get permission to enter the pavilion, one of the hosts went in the center to check if is still raining.

Wolfgang Buttress, The Hive pavillion | 2015, Milan, Italy © Laurian Ghinitoiu. A design mistake of the UK pavilion? The shot was taken during the opening of the EXPO 2015 (1st of May). A layer of water covering the floor making it very slippery and dangerous. While the visitors were waiting to get permission to enter the pavilion, one of the hosts went in the center to check if is still raining.

 
Sanaa, Zollverein School | 2016, Essen, Germany © Laurian Ghinitoiu. At first sight the school looks like a massive concrete block out of context. On a late autumn morning, the foggy atmosphere and the low sun light, are highlighting the chaotic perforation, making it very flimsy and transparent.

Sanaa, Zollverein School | 2016, Essen, Germany © Laurian Ghinitoiu. At first sight the school looks like a massive concrete block out of context. On a late autumn morning, the foggy atmosphere and the low sun light, are highlighting the chaotic perforation, making it very flimsy and transparent.

 
Christ  & Gantenbein, Ruta Del Peregrino, Cerro del Obispo | 2017, Guadalajara, Mexico © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Informal settlements are dismantled in the early morning of the last day of the pilgrimage. For a week the small shops and restaurants are welcoming visitors, providing them with a place to rest after a long hike.

Christ  & Gantenbein, Ruta Del Peregrino, Cerro del Obispo | 2017, Guadalajara, Mexico © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Informal settlements are dismantled in the early morning of the last day of the pilgrimage. For a week the small shops and restaurants are welcoming visitors, providing them with a place to rest after a long hike.

PK: Could you describe your overall photographic vision and approach?LG: I would say that it is almost a journalistic process, where the camera is just a tool used to document and analyze the built environment. An objective approach, very contextual and atmospheric, focusing on materiality, scale and people, with their daily habits and behaviors. I’m exploring the edge of designed and informal architecture, and looking for the moment where the two meet and harmoniously coexist. I am trying to put architecture in time and context with as many layers as possible, from small and punctual examples, but also to urban scale research spread all over the world. It became more than a job or just a passion, it is already a lifestyle. Since I consider that my career has just started, I’m in the process of defining a series of topics that I’m interested in, which will end up as books and exhibitions (I could mention few - belonging, transition, living, temporary, reuse etc).
Michael Maltzan Architecture, Star Apartment | 2018, Skid Row, Los Angeles, USA © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Skid Row is an area in downtown LA, with a population of 8000 homeless people. They sleep in tents and improvised settlements which needs to be dismantled and relocated constantly for street cleaning and sanitation. Located in the area, The Star Apartments was transformed from a commercial building into a new mixed used complex with 102 apartments units for formerly homeless individuals. At first sight a fortress, the building has a series of social services and healthcare zones.

Michael Maltzan Architecture, Star Apartment | 2018, Skid Row, Los Angeles, USA © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Skid Row is an area in downtown LA, with a population of 8,000 homeless people. They sleep in tents and improvised settlements which needs to be dismantled and relocated constantly for street cleaning and sanitation. Located in the area, The Star Apartments was transformed from a commercial building into a new mixed used complex with 102 apartments units for formerly homeless individuals. At first sight a fortress, the building has a series of social services and healthcare zones.

 
Burning Man, Art Festival | 2018, Nevada, USA © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Burning Man is an annual, nine-day gathering in the Nevada desert for more than 70.000 people. The only city in the world built for pedestrians and cyclists, is focused on anti-consumerism and self-expression and includes artistic performances, installations, and music. This year, Bjarke Ingels, Jacob Lange and Laurent de Carnière, designed one of the biggest installations till now: a $400,000 inflatable mirror sphere which reflects the surroundings and help people orientate around the playa.

Burning Man, Art Festival | 2018, Nevada, USA © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Burning Man is an annual, nine-day gathering in the Nevada desert for more than 70,000 people. The only city in the world built for pedestrians and cyclists, is focused on anti-consumerism and self-expression and includes artistic performances, installations, and music. This year, Bjarke Ingels, Jacob Lange and Laurent de Carnière, designed one of the biggest installations till now: a $400,000 inflatable mirror sphere which reflects the surroundings and help people orientate around the playa.

 
OMA, Prada Foundation, | 2018, Milan, Italy © Laurian Ghinitoiu. At the edge of Milan, in an old industrial area, the new Prada foundation is rising. Several buildings, including one covered in gold, and a tower of 60m height, are hosting exhibitions for some of the most important contemporary artists. The Pritzker Prized architect, Rem Koolhaas, is widely regarded as one of the most important architectural thinkers and urbanists of his generation. In contrast with the luxury, facing the museum and the gold facade, across the abandoned rail track, there is a refugee camp hosting 80 people from all over​ Africa.

OMA, Prada Foundation, | 2018, Milan, Italy © Laurian Ghinitoiu. At the edge of Milan, in an old industrial area, the new Prada foundation is rising. Several buildings, including one covered in gold, and a tower of 60m height, are hosting exhibitions for some of the most important contemporary artists. The Pritzker Prized architect, Rem Koolhaas, is widely regarded as one of the most important architectural thinkers and urbanists of his generation. In contrast with the luxury, facing the museum and the gold facade, across the abandoned rail track, there is a refugee camp hosting 80 people from all over​ Africa.

PK: From your experience what makes the relationship between architects and photographers a successful one? LG: In my opinion, a photographic documentation starts when the design ends. I’m quite independent and very curious to explore architecture and its surroundings, and always trying to show the whole picture through my work. In other worlds, as photographers, we have the chance to visit many places and projects (sometimes being the first ones there), and that comes with a big responsibility to be objective and honest with what we find. I take in consideration any guideline or suggestions as an input to my photographic work. Based on my experience of understanding architecture and the built environment, I always take my freedom to adapt the results to my vision and to what I find there. I strongly believe that a successful collaboration has to start with mutual trust and respect for each other’s work.PK: Which are some of the influences to your photographic work and in what ways have they affected your approach?LG: Everything I interact with is a source of inspiration especially when I travel – the people I meet, stories I hear, places I randomly discover. My first interaction with photography started almost randomly, discovering the countryside of Romania, its informality and the simple life around the household, atmosphere and light. The architectural experience is the base of almost everything I do now, photographic or not. My student projects were always questioning and provoking the limits and the existent context - physical or not. That gave me a certain understanding of what is now my photographed subject. Perhaps less directly, currently I feel inspired by the work of Junya Ishigami and Asif Khan. The visuals of Andreas Gursky, or by David Hockney’s atmosphere in his architecture paintings. I also find inspiration in Iwan Baan’s lifestyle and his work or Vivian Maier’s street ‘snapshots’. The list can go on.
Asif Khan, Vantablack pavillion | 2018, Pyeongchang, South Korea © Laurian Ghinitoiu. For the opening of the 2018 Olympics in South Korea, Asif Khan proposed the blackest building on earth which is covered in a material used by NASA, and absorbs 99.97% of the light. The elite, an Olympic team dressed in pink is approaching the building in order to analyze it, but ending up with series of selfies to memorize the achievement. Could be also a reference to the fight between the “darkest dark” used only by Anish Kapoor and Stuart Semple’s pinkest pink.

Asif Khan, Vantablack pavillion | 2018, Pyeongchang, South Korea © Laurian Ghinitoiu. For the opening of the 2018 Olympics in South Korea, Asif Khan proposed the blackest building on earth which is covered in a material used by NASA, and absorbs 99.97% of the light. An Olympic team dressed in pink is approaching the building in order to analyze it, but ending up with series of selfies to memorize the achievement. Could be also a reference to the fight between the “blackest black” used only by Anish Kapoor and Stuart Semple’s "pinkest pink".

 
Junya Ishigami, Farm Garden “Water garden” | 2018, Nasushiobara, Japan © Laurian Ghinitoiu. 300 trees were selected and carefully replanted from a nearby site to create a new form of nature, one designed by man. The old rice terrace, is rearranged as a new landscape with water ponds, moss, stones and trees, where visitors could reconnect with nature.

Junya Ishigami, Farm Garden “Water garden” | 2018, Nasushiobara, Japan © Laurian Ghinitoiu. 300 trees were selected and carefully replanted from a nearby site to create a new form of nature, one designed by man. The old rice terrace, is rearranged as a new landscape with water ponds, moss, stones and trees, where visitors could reconnect with nature.

 
Christ & Gantenbein, Kunst Museum | 2016, Basel, Switzerland © Laurian Ghinitoiu. The materiality and textures, the wooden floor, the atmosphere, the old guy resting, all together could be part of David Hockney’s interior paintings from the 70’s.

Christ & Gantenbein, Kunst Museum | 2016, Basel, Switzerland © Laurian Ghinitoiu. The materiality and textures, the wooden floor, the atmosphere, the old guy resting, all together could be part of David Hockney’s interior paintings from the 70’s.

 
RMA, CEPT Library | 2018, Ahmedabad, India © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Two architecture students are analyzing the new library designed by Rahul Mehrotra. The discussion is taking place at one of the architecture school's balconies - school which was designed by B.V. Doshi (was recently laureated with the most important prize in architecture - the Pritzker)

RMA, CEPT Library | 2018, Ahmedabad, India © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Two architecture students are analyzing the new library designed by Rahul Mehrotra. The discussion is taking place at one of the architecture school's balconies - school which was designed by B.V. Doshi (was recently laureated with the most important prize in architecture - the Pritzker)

 
Ole Sheeren, MahaNakhon  ​| 2018, Bangkok, Thailand © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Through its pixelated design the residential tower designed by Ole Sheeren, tries to reconnect with the chaotic city of Bangkok.

Ole Sheeren, MahaNakhon  ​| 2018, Bangkok, Thailand © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Through its pixelated design the residential tower designed by Ole Sheeren, tries to reconnect with the chaotic city of Bangkok.

PK: Some of your projects are self-initiated while others are commissioned assignments. Can you give us some examples from each type and highlight some of their differences or similarities?LG: I don’t think there is any difference. I approach every photographic project with the same energy and excitement. Commissioned or not, I document designed architecture with the same passion and energy as a refugee camp or a slum as an informal built environment. The most exciting moment is when the two extremes meet and coexist.
Herzog & de Meuron, Beirut Terraces | 2018 Beirut, Lebanon © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Part of the masterplan to regenerate the downtown of Beirut, the main feature of the luxury apartment building is a series of playful terraces and cantilever volumes covered with vegetation to provide privacy. Opposite, stands the Holiday Inn with its bullet and rocket scarred walls. The hotel became part of the epic battle named “the war of the hotels” and acted as a demarcation line between east and west.

Herzog & de Meuron, Beirut Terraces | 2018 Beirut, Lebanon © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Part of the masterplan to regenerate the downtown of Beirut, the main feature of the luxury apartment building is a series of playful terraces and cantilever volumes that are covered with vegetation to provide privacy. Opposite, stands the Holiday Inn with its bullet and rocket scarred walls. The hotel became part of the epic battle named “the war of the hotels” and acted as a demarcation line between east and west.

 
Seven architecture offices, Koganecho Center, Art district | 2018 Koganecho, Yokohama, Japan © Laurian Ghinitoiu. A 150-meter stretch of land beneath a train overpass in Koganecho, underwent a progressive refurbishment in which seven different types of community space, each designed by a local architect, were built within a pre-set spatial grid. Historically there were many social issues in the area, largely in relation to its profitable but dangerous black market, drugs and prostitution since 1960. The surrounding buildings are transformed into studios for artist residency programs, but still keep the red-light district typology - big window at the ground floor, sleeping area above.

Seven architecture offices, Koganecho Center, Art district | 2018 Koganecho, Yokohama, Japan © Laurian Ghinitoiu. A 150-meter stretch of land beneath a train overpass in Koganecho, underwent a progressive refurbishment in which seven different types of community space, each designed by a local architect, were built within a pre-set spatial grid. Historically there were many social issues in the area, largely in relation to its profitable but dangerous black market, drugs and prostitution since 1960. The surrounding buildings are transformed into studios for artist residency programs, but still keep the red-light district typology - big window at the ground floor, sleeping area above.

 
David Chipperfield, Amorepacific Headquarters | 2018, Seoul, South Korea © Laurian Ghinitoiu. A business district, which was part of a masterplan with a new high-rise development in Korea is substantially altering the urban fabric of the Yongsan district. Amorepacific Headquarters, through its big openings is turning back towards the surroundings, establishing a relation.

David Chipperfield, Amorepacific Headquarters | 2018, Seoul, South Korea © Laurian Ghinitoiu. A business district, which was part of a masterplan with a new high-rise development in Korea is substantially altering the urban fabric of the Yongsan district. Amorepacific Headquarters, through its big openings is turning back towards the surroundings, establishing a relation.

PK: Could you tell us your thoughts about the matter of a personal style/approach in relation to the broader currents in architectural photography?LG: I am not sure what are the trends, but I know how I approach my documentation. I always plan and explore the subject and look for the unexpected. I search for day to day moments and unique situations that can be easily found in time. I place myself as a witness that can tell a story about the space, the context, and the behavior of the people as a reaction to the built environment. I look for the edge of the designed & informal, from the built elements till the spontaneous actions; the temporary and permanent; the known & unknown.
Wolfgang Buttress, The Hive Pavillion | 2015, Milan, Italy © Laurian Ghinitoiu. A design mistake of the UK pavilion? The shot was taken during the opening of the EXPO 2015 (1st of may). A layer of water covering the floor making it very slippery and dangerous. While the visitors were waiting to get permission to enter the pavilion, one of the hosts went in the center to check if is still raining.

Amateur Architecture Studio, Ningbo Museum | 2018, Ningbo, China. Different than any other approach to define contemporary architecture in China, Wang Shu opted to use traces of the old farmers villages, once part of the site and the surrounding areas. The finishing of the massive volume, similar with a fortress, is created with twenty different types of grey and red bricks and tiles.

PK: What are your thoughts about the shift from print to online media? How has it affected the way architectural photographers work and how do you see the field changing in the future?LG: I like to be present or even progressive, and make use of the tools of the moment. I use any app that make my life/travel easier, from car-sharing / co-living etc. I am also trying to own less and less physical objects in order to be more flexible. Whenever one needs to go more into detail, one still looks for a printed book/a physical library, but that will become less and less available as everything is being digitalized now.In terms of work I believe in both. I started my photographic career by sharing it online, which got me into printed media. It’s very clear that printing is slowing down, but doesn’t that make it more special?Nowadays, Instagram plays a big role regarding the relation between user and architect. In order to understand how people are using their projects, OMA inserted onto their official website an Instagram feed, where content from random users is shown. It is a research tool, and the result can be an input in their new design. Platforms like Archdaily/Dezeen/afasia are making articles with Instagram posts as they circulate faster, before any press release (see burning man or long-waited design as the new National Museum of Qatar NMoQ)If print slowly dies, the “Mega Pixel” is not so important anymore, the equipment is smaller and more affordable - already, any phone owner is able to provide photos directly to the media. The architect will not be any more in control of how their stories are curated and told. At the end, the shared content will make the general architecture perception to be more honest and authentic.
Toyo Ito, Barocco Museum | 2017, Puebla, Mexico © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Two extremes of the world meet: Mexican gardener watering the sharp landscape, in the background as a contrast, the clean and precise sinuous lines of Japanese contemporary architecture (photo taken with a phone)

Toyo Ito, Barocco Museum | 2017, Puebla, Mexico © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Two extremes of the world meet: Mexican gardener watering the sharp landscape, in the background as a contrast, the clean and precise sinuous lines of Japanese contemporary architecture (photo taken with a phone)

PK: How do you approach a project from the communication with the client, to the on-site photo shoot, to the editing of the final selection of images? Tell us a bit more about your process in the various stages of architectural photography.LG: If it’s a commission, the communication is very simple: I get the name of the project, the address, and a contact person (when it’s needed) who is helping me to open any door. Commissioned or not, I stop when I consider that I have everything that’s important and each frame is special and tells a story by its own. Otherwise, I do everything by my own.

Regarding post-production, as I’m always on the road, my temporary office can be anywhere: bus, taxi, airplane, train, or a sidewalk edge. Because of that, most of my post-production is primarily about selection in order to focus on storytelling and basic editing.

Jean Nouvel, Louvre | 2017, Abu Dhabi, UAE © Laurian Ghinitoiu. The continuous movement of the light, the dome pattern, the white volumes, the water and its reflections, are all transforming the space into a mirage of the Arabic world. A sustainable and unique microclimate that prepares the visitors to transit towards the art world and the controlled temperatures inside.

Jean Nouvel, Louvre | 2017, Abu Dhabi, UAE © Laurian Ghinitoiu. The continuous movement of the light, the dome pattern, the white volumes, the water and its reflections, are all transforming the space into a mirage of the Arabic world. A sustainable and unique microclimate that prepares the visitors to transit towards the art world and the controlled temperatures inside.

 
Junya Ishigami, Glass Pavillion | 2017, Tietjerk, Nederlands © Laurian Ghinitoiu. At the intersection of three alleys the subtle intervention in the Groot Vijversburg Park is almost disappearing into the landscape due to its continuous curvy glass walls. The photo was taken in a random autumn morning. I had to climb a 30m tree to rescue this set of photos, as my drone was stuck there.

Junya Ishigami, Glass Pavillion | 2017, Tietjerk, Nederlands © Laurian Ghinitoiu. At the intersection of three alleys the subtle intervention in the Groot Vijversburg Park is almost disappearing into the landscape due to its continuous curvy glass walls. The photo was taken in a random autumn morning. I had to climb a 30m tree to rescue this set of photos, as my drone was stuck there.

PK: What conditions allow you to take your best photographs and what are the challenges in your type of work?LG: I believe is very important to be flexible, and to be able to adapt to any situation that can occur, even if it’s just a logistic issue or within the act of shooting itself. What helped me a lot was my spontaneous way of doing things, my intuition and sometimes the courage to go outside from my comfort zone, but also empathy in order to know how to react to a sensitive context.My photography work exposes me to contentious subjects such as elitism, poverty, income disparity, political agendas, and environmental problems. It was very challenging the first time I had to deal with these extremes. Hopefully through my collection of moments, it will give to the viewer more empathy whenever they encounter such situations in their daily lives.
Apartment building after earthquake | 2018, Hualien, Taiwan © Laurian Ghinitoiu. The photo was taken during a mourning ceremony and before the building got torn down. After a deadly earthquake, many buildings were damaged, few buildings felt and one got tilted after few of the lower floors collapsed. ​ Large beams were placed by cranes on one side of the building in an effort to prevent further tilting during the continuing rescue efforts. Although I was expecting a lot of drama, I was surprised to see that people had the​ strength​ to continue their daily life.

Apartment building after earthquake | 2018, Hualien, Taiwan © Laurian Ghinitoiu. The photo was taken during a mourning ceremony and before the building got torn down. After a deadly earthquake, many buildings were damaged, few buildings felt and one got tilted after few of the lower floors collapsed. ​ Large beams were placed by cranes on one side of the building in an effort to prevent further tilting during the continuing rescue efforts. Although I was expecting a crisis, I was surprised to see that people had the​ strength​ to continue their daily life.

 
Dharavi, Slum | 2018 Mumbai, India © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Dharavi is Asia's largest slum, with an area of just over 2.1 square kilometers and a population of almost 800,000 people. With the density of 300,000/km2, Dharavi is one of the densest areas in the world with an informal economy of more 1 billion $ every year. Many big fashion companies, are buying leather products, and rebranding them without mentioning the origin.

Dharavi, Slum | 2018 Mumbai, India © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Dharavi is Asia's largest slum, with an area of just over 2.1 square kilometers and a population of almost 800,000 people. With the density of 300,000/km2, Dharavi is one of the densest areas in the world with an informal economy of more $1 billion USD. Many big fashion companies, are buying leather products, and rebranding them without mentioning the origin.

PK: Although fine art and commercial photography are defined and practiced differently, do you think there’s also a common ground and a trend to fuse their boundaries?LG: I cannot relate to my work as being commercial, and definitely not fine art. According to the context or people’s interest, the same photo can be part of an exhibition or as a standalone piece in a private collection, and at the same time it can be used to talk about a specific series/theme/idea/work/detail by the architect or by the owner of the building or by any other 3rd party.
BIG, VIA57W | 2016, New York, USA © Laurian Ghinitoiu. The first moment of craziness in my photographic career. An urgent visa for USA, last minute flight, 2 minutes of fog, looking to capture the big change in NY skyline. After few weeks the photo was selected for the BIG‘s monograph by A+U, as a cover.

BIG, VIA57W | 2016, New York, USA © Laurian Ghinitoiu. The first moment of craziness in my photographic career. An urgent visa for USA, last minute flight, 2 minutes of fog, looking to capture the big change in NY skyline. After few weeks the photo was selected for the BIG‘s monograph by A+U, as a cover.

 
Sou Fujimoto, Forest Of Light | 2016, Milan, Italy © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Light installation for the fashion brand COS. While the cones of light are slightly changing in intensity - a group of visitors were dumbfounded by the atmosphere created by very basic elements: light, smoke and mirrors.

Sou Fujimoto, Forest Of Light | 2016, Milan, Italy © Laurian Ghinitoiu. Light installation for the fashion brand COS. While the cones of light are slightly changing in intensity - a group of visitors were dumbfounded by the atmosphere created by very basic elements: light, smoke and mirrors.

PK: In collaboration with filmmaker and video artist Arata Mori, you have co-founded "another :" to “blur the border of space, architecture, art and image”. Tell us about this collaboration and the ways you want to combine videography with architecture?LG: I’m able to capture movement and time, but I often felt that photography is too rigid and unable to represent space. I always wanted to push it further and experiment with video and add another dimension to architecture but I didn’t have the knowledge. Meeting Arata and starting another : came very organic. He has an interest in architecture and the built environment, his father is an architect, actually he was named after Arata Isozaki.Although another : is one year old, we have already established a tool and a vision, and we are confident that our results can bring something new to the field. Besides that, we are now in the research phase and we are focusing on some concrete topics around the built environment and we will start soon to develop them.You can find out more about Laurian Ghinițoiu's work here.