(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.

Acconci Studio (acconci.com)
20 Jay Street, #215, Brooklyn, NY 11201
studio@acconci.com

{Recession Tales: Vito Acconci, The Architect’s Newspaper}
{Vito Acconci Wikipedia page}

11 Responses to “Vito Acconci Studio Closed (or Not)”

  1. NYS Board of Regents Says:

    Perhaps it's a quibble, but an “architect” or “landscape architect” is someone who has passed the respective state licensing exam. Acconci has done many interesting projects over the years *hey! put that back in your pants* but I do not believe he is either an architect or landscape architect.

  2. Pearl Says:

    Acconci studio could do some incredibly visionary projects for the neighborhood if a gifted developed would hire them to do so. Ask them, for example, to do something with the empty space under the Manhattan bridge and Plymouth Street. Or, to design a park in the empty lot at John and Pearl Streets. We'd all benefit.

  3. dumbostreets Says:

    I agree 100%

    He is one of the most famous long time residents of Dumbo. He should have a big presence somewhere.

    It is kind of amazing, considering the kind of crap developers will spend money on, that no one has hired him. I mean a major Acconci piece would get international press.

  4. Johnson Says:

    Maybe all that money from J. Crew has helped out.

    At least he is back to his trade mark black trousers.

  5. Johnson Says:

    Maybe all that money from J. Crew has helped out.

    At least he is back to his trade mark black trousers.

  6. Johnson Says:

    I do repeat myself at times!

  7. dumbostreets Says:

    The Times article on the J. Crew thing said they didn't pay much… and I bet he didn't get to keep the clothes either. Artists, generally, tend not to be great business people.

  8. dumbostreets Says:

    The Times article on the J. Crew thing said they didn't pay much… and I bet he didn't get to keep the clothes either. Artists, generally, tend not to be great business people.

  9. My Heros : Museum Planning Says:

    [...] Vito Acconci – Started as a Poet, then Sculptor, crossed over into architecture, industrial design and landscape architecture. Link to MIT Show Recent article about studio [...]

  10. Collector au Tri Postal à Lille | Aquarelle, couleurs, papier, pinceaux _ masmoulin s'est jeté à l'eau . Presque tout sur l'aquarelle et les événements artistiques Says:

    [...] Kleyebe Abonnenc =Vito Acconci = Dennis Adams = [...]

  11. Daniel Says:

    I wonder whether michelangelo or Leonardo passed the state licensing exam.

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