From renderings to virtual reality, Marc Szabo's LA studio does it all.
“Every architect and designer needs renderings to communicate their design to their clients,” says Marc Szabo of Marc Szabo Studios. “Some may have their own staff, but not to our quality.” For the last 50 years, Marc has been creating some of the most advanced (and beautiful!) renderings and electronic visuals in the business.
Marc got his start in the 1970s at Art Center, where his drawing skills became so coveted, architects started calling him for presentation work. He launched his own firm shortly before the advent of the computer, the arrival of which changed every aspect of his business. It even meant finding new employees when he had push back from some who didn’t want to change the way they worked. Not an easy time for anyone, but Marc was set on moving forward and keeping modern, especially in order to outrun competition from China. For the last 15 years, Marc has collaborated with a group of artists in Argentina that he specially trained to help create the firm’s materials. “I take the best and put together under my umbrella,” he adds. “It’s a very unique process and takes a team effort. This industry can be impersonal, with studios all over the world, so it’s nice to have a local team, too.”
“Because Dad has been in the industry for 50 years, he has the expertise to oversee everything. His eye is a luxury service,” says Sofia Szabo, who with her sister, Mara, helps run the business. “He’s been a giant in the presentation industry,” she adds. “He wrote the bible of the industry—the reference book—Drawing File for Architects, Illustrators and Designers in 1976. His work became the standard.” The sisters, too, are also taking the company forward by overseeing the virtual reality and animation side of the business. “We can create flythroughs and go all around the exterior. It really opens up the possibilities,” she explains. It it also helps with planning approval because architects and designers can walk in with a virtual 360-degree rendering. “We are on the cutting edge, adding live actors, which is really good for LA!”
So how does it work? Clients upload all of their files (drawings, furnishings, etc.) to a private area on the firm’s website, and the studio begins working its magic. As artwork is developing, clients can log into their account and watch the progress. Because of digital flexibility, the firm can keep right in step with any changes the architects or designers make throughout their creative process. New flooring material? Not a problem. New color palette? That’s an easy switch, too. “We’re always working together on things and the clients are commenting, so we know they’re happy. There are no lost emails. It’s clean. It’s modern. And it’s competitively priced.”