Shugarman Architecture + Design is a studio firm with a singular passion: To provide our clients with the very best in design.
Our multidisciplinary team practises architecture, interior design, furniture design and urban design. For many projects, we meld these disciplines to create entirely bespoke environments. Every client receives our full attention and involvement, and we apply the same sensitivity, attention to detail and professional rigour to every project, no matter which discipline.
At Shugarman Architecture + Design, we believe:
- design has the capacity to stimulate the body, engage the mind and elevate the spirit;
- achieving good design depends on our ability to understand our clients’ interests and earn their trust;
- established budgets do not limit possibilities, but inspire creativity;
- quality, not novelty, is the key to lasting, sustainable design;
- our firm is responsible for acting on our clients’ behalf;
- our clients’ time and resources are as valuable as our own;
- design must support and be supported by competency in all related disciplines.
First and foremost, the duty of design is to satisfy a basic physical need: To sit, to keep out rain, to place a glass. Regardless of discipline, budget or project scope, functionality is paramount. And in this regard, innovation is not the ambition of our design, but a consequence.
The key to commanding design—design that invites you in and prompts you to return—is how well it balances a sense of inclusivity with a sense of privilege. In all our work, our firm understands this desire for relaxed luxury, for casual elegance. It’s a sensibility that reflects our egalitarian age, while still producing an environment that feels utterly exceptional.
It is by continually striving to layer function with beauty that our firm turns to natural materials and their aesthetic subtleties. It is through this process, this quest to express the inherent strength of each material, that we innovate and find new solutions. This is what sets us apart.
"I BELIEVE OUR FIRST PRIORITY MUST BE TO CREATE FURNITURE, INTERIORS AND ARCHITECTURE THAT WE WANT TO LAST. IF THAT CAN BE ACHIEVED, MOST OF OUR WORK IS DONE."MICHAEL SHUGARMAN
Michael Shugarman began to consider questions of sustainability in design while working in a kiln drying operation in Quebec, where he literally watched wood dry. He was a university student at the time, with course work heavily focused on novelty and innovation. Michael found the kiln a welcome contrast—there, he learned that to achieve a desired aesthetic end, measured changes over long periods of time are equally valuable. After drying wood, Michael found other work with an artisanal wood fabricator where he learned to appreciate the quality of old French and English marquetry, the history of furniture and the beauty of a good veneer splice or an oil finish.
Later, Michael accepted a position as a graduate architect in Antonio Citterio’s Italian studio, where he was exposed to the highest level of contemporary architecture, furniture and product design in the world. Here, sustainability was a consequence of high-quality design detailing and fabrication techniques.
As a result of these lessons, SA+D promotes the use of recycled materials and responsibly forested woods. We prefer oil finishes to synthetic technologies. We treat color as an expression of the natural condition of the selected material. We value the input of suppliers and trades. We promote density and mixed use in an urban context while treading sensitively and with respect on any natural landscape. And we constantly strive for elegance in proportion, regardless of the setting, program, or budget.
Most importantly, our work strives to be lasting. The ultimate sustainable product, whether building or furniture, is one with inherent value—one worth preserving for generations.