Working out of the Box: Production Designer and Art Director, Colin Sieburgh

Working out of the Box is a series of features presenting architects who have applied their architecture backgrounds to alternative career paths.

In this installment, we’re talking with production designer and art director, Colin Sieburgh.

Are you an architect working out of the box? Do you know of someone that has changed careers and has an interesting story to share? If you would like to suggest an (ex-)architect, please send us a message.

Nowadays, a handful of schools seem to be aligning with Sieburgh’s lateral move from architecture to filmmaking, offering programs in cinematic world-building for films or interactive, computer-generated experiences. As virtual realities become more sophisticated and integrated into our everyday lives, our experience of the built environment may no longer be limited to the physical world – something film has allowed us to vicariously experience for over a century, through the efforts of people like Sieburgh.

Where did you study architecture?

Cornell University, BArch 2005, and Harvard University, MArchII 2007.

At both institutions, I majored in architecture, but always had my fingers in many pots, from designing clothes for fashion shows to guerrilla installations around campus and exploring film theories in relationship to my design processes.

At what point in your life did you decide to pursue architecture?

I have vague memories of playing with Legos, Lincoln logs and the cliché catalog of children’s toys that indicate a sense of architecture tendencies as a child. But I had my concrete epiphany after I did the Exploration of Architecture program at Cornell University in between my Junior and Senior years in High School. I came home from that speaking a new language and 100% sure that this was a field I wanted to explore academically. I had a curiosity that couldn’t be controlled.