London agency Airside has announced that it is to close in March 2012. The company has spent 14 years at the forefront of interactive and media design, and the company statement is keen to point out that the closure isn't down to finances. Instead, it stated the company is thriving, and the decision is down to the founders having grown into different people with different goals. "[Despite] all of our best efforts we can't see a way for Airside to move forward and accommodate all of our individual ambitions," the statement said.
We asked the three Airside founders, Alex Maclean, Nat Hunter and Fred Deakin, about their time at Airside and why they felt the need to close. The trio revealed that particular highlights included taking the whole company to Japan for its first exhibition there, Lemon Jelly playing Somerset House with Airside's visuals projected on to the building, and the recently launched in-flight entertainment system for Virgin Atlantic — referred to as "possibly our biggest and most ambitious project".
In the future, we're told the founders will miss the "amazing team spirit" the company had: "We were lucky enough to work with some incredibly talented and lovely individuals who were prepared to give their all and really enjoy their working lives in the process." But in the company's statement, it was clear the founders felt unable to explore "new paradigms" under the Airside umbrella. They explained why: "Airside has always been about doing everything and anything we felt like: T-shirts, movies, club nights, art installations. [But] for several years now the industry has been moving towards smaller, more specialised companies—even one-person bands—who focus on specific elements of the creative process." The founders intend to embrace and develop these specialisms once Airside closes.