Art Ready Winter 2013 Studio Visit: Sage & Coombe Architects, a set on Flickr.
For our very last Art Ready studio visit before students are matched with their mentors, we visited the architecture office of Sage & Coombe in lower Manhattan. Mentor Andrew Kao and his team of 4 additional mentoring architects showed slides of some of Sage & Coombe’s past work, as well as other interesting buildings that demonstrate the range of projects architects may do–from high-design buildings that involve complex feats of engineering, to public works projects like parks and fire stations, to simple interior apartment renovations. Architecture projects are usually very collaborative and can take anywhere between 6 months to 6 years to complete. They may start with simple hand-drawn sketches, which are then translated into 3-D renderings, scale models, and 2-D drawing sets containing every detail of how the buildings will be built, before actually being constructed.
Sage & Coombe relies on various software programs to create the drawings that guide each project, and Andrew explained that you don’t need to be great at math, or at drawing, to be an architect. You do need to be prepared to go to school for at least 5 years, take a series of licensing exams, and be prepared to work for clients rather than pursuing your own artwork. However, unlike most artists, architects are able to make their art their “day job” by working for architecture firms. There are other diverse fields one can pursue with an architecture degree, such as interior design, or set design for films or fashion.
Working with Sage & Coombe, Art Ready students can design their own buildings and create scale models and/or computer renderings. They are also encouraged to design things they can actually build at Smack Mellon, such as the writing desk that last year’s mentees built entirely out of paper cups.