Mark Stumer, founding principal of New York-based architecture and interior design firm Mojo Stumer Associates, is known for designing minimalist homes, often in areas where the majority of homes are more traditional in style.
Recently, the firm completed the design of the amenities and common areas for 5Pointz, a new 48-story rental tower 5Pointz in Long Island City, New York.
In addition to the two principals—Mr. Stumer and Thomas J. Mojo—the firm has four associates and a staff of more than 20 architects and interior designers.
Mr. Stumer, 69, has practiced architecture as a principal for over 25 years. He graduated Pratt Institute—where he now serves on the board—in 1974 with a Bachelor of Architecture degree, becoming a Registered Architect in 1979. Mr. Stumer presently sits on the board of the Architectural Landmarks Commission for Kings Point on Long Island—where he lives.
We caught up with him to discuss slowing down during the pandemic, the future of residential and commercial real estate and more.
Mansion Global: How have things changed for Mojo Stumer since the Covid-19 pandemic?
Mark Stumer: We got everyone Surface Pros, and now we’re as productive at home as we were in the office. We’re more focused, and there are fewer distractions than in the office. Now when someone needs my opinion, I look at it quickly on the computer and we move on.
Something we’re going to adopt even after this is allowing everyone to work from home one day a week.
And in terms of clients, we just had one project canceled in Boca [Raton, Florida]. The delay put him past the building cycle. Even though the delay was three months, it was putting him back for a year and he had to put the property up for sale.
The work we have now will continue. It’s the new work that may not start. But projects that were in the middle of work will go ahead.
MG: Do you expect design tastes will change as a result of the pandemic?
MS: There will be a shift. Your home might have better filtered bathrooms, dispensers for hand sanitizers, et cetera. But once you close the door to your house, your lifestyle doesn’t change that much. You may clean your sheets more often, filter your air more, but I don’t see single-family houses changing much.
Buildings will be different. Lobbies may get bigger. The weight loads for elevators may change. Doors may not close on an elevator with more than four to five people on it, or elevators will get bigger. Corridors might be wider, things like that.
In the workplace, I’d imagine we’ll see even more change. Open offices are done. Cubicles are going to be back, more enclosed spaces.