'I think antirom is controlled by ideas rather than capital, unlike most other companies', says Tomas Roope. The idea that antirom has always been more about an approach, in ideal, than a physical structure comes up time and again. A company is a useful form for us to work within but there is a feeling that, even if we all worked apart, the philosophy would bind together in some fashion.
Tom's working approach mirrors much of antirom's, taking a rough idea and reworking it over and over to chisel out a new idea. Whilst there is always a strong interest in personal work, Tom finds the pressures of commercial work enlivening. 'I think coming in on time and within budget are as important a design constraint as the medium that you are working in.' he says. 'We also encourage risk-taking rather than running away from it.'
Part of the problem with trying to explore new ground is that it becomes hard to define ourselves. Are we designers, programmers, "creatives", or producers? Tom seems most comfortable with the term designer, saying 'if a designer is someone who organizes, structures and solves problems, I think that is a good word for it'.
Adding to the mix of backgrounds in antirom, Nic had been studying sculpture. Interested in digital media, he became involved with the first antirom CD create a set or markedly ridiculous and humorous pieces. Always willing to give new things a go, he has a strong view of our future.
'I think we might stop trying to do everything ourselves and look for partners and other people to work with,' he says. This emphasizes the shift of our focus from skill sets to mindsets, as we start to realize the experience we have gained.' He continues, 'I'm conscious to challenge the view that technical skills are the only things to possess. We've been more reactive than active in the management sense and I think that will have to change.'
In terms of our work, he is all too aware that we risk becoming the very establishment we initially left behind. 'We're used to feeling being at the cutting edge and fail to realise what we were doing four years ago is just coming into vogue now. Gone are the days of "boring versus us",' he says. However, with many emerging technologies, he thinks it is crucial we remember that 'if it's interactive then we have the understanding, skill and sensitivity to the issues involved.'