Marc Thorpe Design


"Being uncomfortable is a normal state for entrepreneurs. You have to push yourself to always engage with the unknown," says Thorpe.

Marc Thorpe's professional blueprint was drafted early on. The ink on his master's degree in architecture from Parsons was barely dry when he founded Marc Thorpe Design in 2004. A decade later, he is the principal architect and lead industrial designer for his multidisciplinary design studio, working across disciplines from architecture and industrial design to digital media and branding.

“When I started my career, I had my hands in all sorts of different areas of design, including interiors, architecture, and product design,” he says. “And I was fortunate to have a handful of projects that really took off, and were directing me to go on my own.” Some of those early successes included interior spaces (such as the Manhattan Classic Car Club), interactive installations, and furniture designs for some of the world’s top manufacturers. “It was like I had been set in this direction and there was no going back,” says Thorpe. 

Of course, that didn’t mean he didn’t have his doubts about striking out on his own while his colleagues were signing up for job security with established firms. “Questions go through your head—you have school loans, no health care, you wonder what you’re doing with your life. But at a certain point it’s sink or swim, and you do what you have to do.”