(Photo from The Architect’s Newspaper)
[UPDATE: Acconci Studio has returned our email who stated that the studio is not closed. I am getting further details and will update this post.]
This is old news from the summer, but we just found out that Vito Acconci, the Dumbo Brooklyn-based architect, landscape architect, and installation artist closed his Dumbo studio due to the recession, according to an interview by The Architect’s Newspaper. Acconci Studio was located in 20 Jay Street (#215), and founded in 1988 focusing on theoretical design and building. Acconci has designed the United Bamboo store in Tokyo in 2003 and collaborated on concept designs for interactive art vehicle Mister Artsee in 2006 among others. Mr. Acconci tells The Architect’s Newspaper interview why he had to close his studio:
“The contradictory thing is that at a time when there are these architectural projects that we have the possibility of doing, how do we keep the studio active on a day-to-day basis? We don’t have money constantly coming in, we have money that comes in spurts, but we can’t pay people’s salary every two weeks, rent, insurance, etc. I think it costs approximately $50,000 a month to keep the studio going, and we certainly don’t make anything near that amount now.”
“…There were six designers, an office manager, and someone who took care of press. Sometimes we also had interns who came in to deal with the archives. The economic crisis made a big difference. At first, I thought it wouldn’t affect us, because we never made a lot of money. But it really has. One of the reasons is that we have never consistently supported ourselves from the architecture. We also depended on the sale of my artwork and without this we wouldn’t have survived. It’s a very difficult time for architecture projects to exist, but it might be a harder time for art sales.”
It’s unfortunate that such a high profile studio that has been in Dumbo for so long is closing. Best of luck to Vito Acconci.