The Mens Book — Atlanta Spring 2012
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Life In Atlanta Spotlight
Damon Sgrignoli

Renaissance Man

Mehmet Dogu is responsible for a host of significant structures around Atlanta, but it's his passion for artwork, motorcycles and surfing that has us intrigued.

Mehmet Dogu is not in the market for any new hobbies. The man already has plenty. A seven-year resident of Atlanta, Dogu-owner and president of Action Figure Studios-came to town following a call from an old college buddy, requesting help with an architectural project. He offered up a free plane ticket. "I knew right Away," Dogu says. "It was like, 'oK, we are going to go into business.'" his intuition was right. Together they designed and built a home, one that today is a mainstay on the Modern Atlanta home tour in Capital View.

Architecture has been his calling since an early age. "As a business, it's not great," he admits. "But at the end of the day, it's a way to bring fulfillment to people's lives." He's chalked up stints in commercial banking, at MoMA and years of working in knowledge-based architecture. Today, he's simply dabbling, nursing visions of developing a consulting firm for workplace strategy and a piqued interest in designing "small-scale, single-family homes." However, everything with Dogu is tricky to pin down.

As logic would dictate, Dogu is extremely worldly and well-traveled. Born in Cleveland, he and his family moved to turkey for several years, then back to America. He's lived in New York, phoenix, Baltimore and germany, the latter while teaching a special subjects architectural course. Now in Atlanta, he's found a good group of friends and enough space in his two-car garage to keep him occupied. "That's where I can cut wood and drive metal… and where all the big tools are."

Overflowing with enthusiasm for every corner of life, Dogu's an avid skier, bicyclist, motorcyclist (he owns two, both modified by hand) and a burgeoning land surfer. "I'm really into longboarding these days. That and yoga," he says. "And I've always made stuff. Even when I was a little kid, I built model planes and cars." He's currently planning a 188-mile longboard stage race on the Silver Comet trail.

Perhaps his greatest passion, though, is his artwork. Dogu's work has shown throughout the U.S., and a forthcoming show at poem88 brings a smile to his face.

"I don't care about the medium," he insists. "It's more about the experience." It's a two-person show about color, with Dogu's work divvied up into three parts: line paintings, photographs mounted on bright card stock, and at least one light installation.

He's relatively mum about other shows happening at the moment… "Just some other thing," he mentions, brushing it off as if it's nothing. It's just another day in the wildly busy and creativity-laden life of Mehmet Dogu.

Mehmet's work will be showcased from March 3 to April 14 at Poem88,