Craig Rizzo has designed stage sets for Ice Cube, Korn, and Limp Bizkit.
He has worked on the reality TV show Monster House, helping transform normal homes into themed creations.
He has an MFA, having studied painting and art at the ArtCenter College of Design.
And for almost ten years, Craig Rizzo has been at ZGF working with clients like Seattle Children’s Hospital and Iowa State University. Now a principal, Craig recently traced his unique career path and described how his lifelong love of art has positively affected his work at ZGF.
What is your history with art?
I began drawing at an early age – I have memories of taking crayons to my mom’s books as a kid. I knew I liked to draw and (like most people who like to draw) I found a career path that would allow me to do so.
In undergrad I pursued a bachelor’s in architecture at Woodbury University. In college I met a professor that introduced me to art and the LA art world. We worked together in his studio for two summers on small architectural projects. During breaks we would visit local galleries, talking about contemporary art and the role of painting.
That professor always reminded me of the importance of following one’s curiosity. His advice stuck with me and I pursued my MFA shortly after.
What brought you to ZGF?
I came to ZGF by accident, through a friend’s recommendation. He thought I’d benefit from the diversity of project types and the firm’s community. Although I was initially hesitant I have really enjoyed the process and opportunities here in my career. I get to participate in some amazing projects with really passionate folks.
How do you use art in your architecture practice?
We have some wonderful tools in our quiver these days. I still embrace the connection to making marks on paper and enjoy the freedom of not always knowing what I’m drawing. I like to keep it fluid. It’s fun to draw isn’t it? Every once in awhile it translates into something real.
What is your favorite ZGF project and why?
That would have to be St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton, OR! It was a privilege to participate in the making of a much-needed greenfield hospital. The project was a total immersion into a wonderful community with a rich history and pride. Everything about it was fun, from the interview to my most recent visit. That’s what’s great about what we do – we get to help shape the stories of our clients, address their needs, and make a difference.