Buildings as Backdrops: Playful Photography Humanizes Built Environments

People often play a small part in architectural photography and renderings – not so in this series of travel photographs, which would lovely but otherwise unremarkable without clever human inclusions.

Anna Devis and Daniel Rueda are a design-minded couple, one an illustrator and the other an architect. And they have taken their creative sensibilities on the road, filling in the implicit gaps in built environments across Europe.

The settings represent a range of architectural styles, often bold yet minimalist except for that added element of interactivity, sometimes using props or costumes to turn facades into theatrical sets.

In Denmark, Spain, Italy and other countries they visit, Devis and Rueda take that old idea of a person seeming to ‘tip’ the Leaning Tower of Pisa to new heights. Pixelated surface suddenly become other things, like clocks or canvasses, apparently manipulated by the duo.

That critical personal element that animates each scene also serves as a foil for showing off the patterns and colors of each context, subverting but also highlighting design details. In some cases, added manipulations warp their surroundings as well. For more on their work, follow the pair’s journeys via their Instagram accounts.