Commission Process

Michael Szabo Studio creates sculptures and water features that speak to the environments they inhabit.  Working in residential, commercial and public settings, our commissioned projects require the studio to work closely with clients and collaborating design professionals from initial concept through installation, operation and conservation.  We design, engineer and fabricate all works at our San Francisco studio and our team travels as necessary for on-site installation.  While every project is unique, the process usually follows some iteration of the steps described below.  Contact the Studio for more information on commissions or to discuss a project.

Consultation/Site Survey

An initial site visit allows Michael to appraise a setting as well as gain a deeper understanding of how his work can contribute to an overall vision. During and after the site visit, he is looking to become familiar with the client's or designer’s aesthetic sense and goals for a space, often referring to existing works of his or of those in the client’s collection. This collaborative dialogue between artist and client often continues throughout the project. 


Initial Concept Sketches/Renderings

Emerging from the initial meeting and any subsequent dialogue or research, Michael develops 2-5 concept directions in the form of sketches, renderings or photo composites. 


Preliminary Design

One or more concept sketches may have multiple iterations as they evolve through collaboration and feedback from the client. Based on this dialogue, one refined concept is developed into a preliminary design in the form of a color rendering, physical or digital model, material sample or other appropriate representation. 


Full Proposal

Once the preliminary design has been refined and approved, the client is presented with a full proposal including final renderings, detailed drawings & plans, cost/budget, scope of work, timeline and contract. 


Fabrication & Installation

Most projects have a payment schedule with 2-4 phase payments depending on the scope and timeframe of the project. While all projects vary, typical phases include design finalization/engineering/material ordering, studio fabrication & finishing, site preparation, and installation. Fabrication timeframes can vary from 2-6 months depending on the scope of the project, the schedule of any corresponding work at the site, and the studio’s current fabrication schedule. 

Site Inspires Art

Michael believes that a site-specific work must complement the setting that it inhabits while making a statement as a meaningful work of art. Once the vision for a project is established, our team takes a holistic approach to design development and fabrication. We utilize digital 3d models to create comprehensive presentation plans and in-situ renderings so our clients and collaborators can clearly visualize the work in its environment. 

Vision Executed

All of our works are fabricated in our San Francisco studio, where we combine time-honored metal fabrication techniques with our own innovative approach to metal sculpture and an exceptionally high standard of craftsmanship. Our relationship and track record with architects, engineers, contractors, and consultants have enabled us to repeatedly manage complex projects and deliver quality works both on schedule and on budget. 

To learn more about our commission process or to discuss a potential project, please contact the studio.