a century of re-imagining interior design - The New School


a century of re-imagining interior design - The New School


a century of re-imagining

interior design


In this issue of RE:D we pay tribute to interior design, a field of study

and practice that has been a vital part of Parsons The New School for

Design’s reputation for 100 years. The school’s early leaders, especial-

ly Frank Alvah Parsons, William Odom, Van Day Truex, and Jean-Michel

Frank, foresaw the potential and the importance of interior design as

both a critical design discipline and a powerful social and economic

force. They shaped an interior design program that was visionary for its

time and has an ongoing influence on interior design theory and prac-

tice. We continue to lead the field, as demonstrated by the achieve-

ments of our illustrious alumni—such as Albert Hadley ’49, Betty

Sherrill ’51, Mario Buatta ’61, and following generations including

Victoria Hagan ’84 (see page 32) and Jamie Drake ’78 (page 33).

Interior design engages the complex interactions of the body and space, the human being, and habitat

and enacts social, personal, and cultural meaning. Interior design stages relationships among many

design fields, including furniture and product design; lighting, architecture, and fashion; domestic and

media technologies; and the fine arts. You can read more about these intersections—and the ways in

which the interior design program at Parsons is responding and helping to shape them—in the dialogue

between Kent Kleinman, chair of the Department of Architecture, Interior Design, and Lighting, and Lois

Weinthal, the new director of the interior design program, that appears on page 20.

We are also delighted to feature a profile of the Parsons lighting design program (page 18); photos from

the “Little Houses” project in Hällefors, Sweden (page 16); and news on The Design Workshop’s recent

project in DeLisle, Mississippi (page 5). While these stories may highlight the disciplines of product

design, lighting, and architecture at Parsons, it’s clear that the “interior” is central to these multifaceted

projects, in which students develop lighting concepts for specific environments, build a portable living

space, or create a laundry facility and information center to serve a community’s particular needs.

We’re proud of the interior design program at Parsons and to commemorate its centennial with this issue

of RE:D. It is a pleasure to stay in touch with all of our alumni from across Parsons and to bring you the

latest news from the school. I hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as our contributors have

enjoyed putting it together.

Best regards,

Tim Marshall, Dean

above: Dean Tim Marshall. Photo by Matthew Sussman

front and back cover: The Angelo Donghia Materials Library and

Study Center, home of the Department of Architecture, Interior

Design, and Lighting. Front cover photo by Paula Giraldo,

back cover photo by Bob Handelman

inside front cover: Selections from a collection of sketches for

Metropolitan Home magazine by Illustration chair Steven Guarnaccia.

e:d magazine

Guest Editor

Karissa Krenz

Managing Editor

Lindy Regan

Alumni Relations

Jessica Arnold

Rachel Denny

Assistant Editor

Sarah Kricheff

Creative Director

Meg Callery


Anna Ostrovskaya

Paula Giraldo


Tina Moskin

Copy Editor

Ellen Davidson

Letters to the editor

We want to hear from you. RE:D welcomes

letters to the editor regarding published

articles, alumni news, opinions, commen-

tary, and suggestions for features. Letters

may be edited for content and/or length.

Please include your year of graduation,

degree completed, and major.


Original manuscripts, photo submissions,

and/or artwork will be considered for

publication. Unsolicited manuscripts,

related materials, photography, and

artwork will not be returned.

address changes

Please submit address changes at:



Parsons The New School for Design

66 Fifth Ave., 7th floor

New York, NY 10011



this page: MFA Lighting Design, Erin De Vries


Illustration department chair steven

guarnaccia is a frequent contributor to

publications including Time, Rolling

Stone, and BLAB! and was previously art

director of the New York Times op-ed

page. Co-author of Black and White and

author/illustrator of numerous children’s

books, Guarnaccia hosted the

hugely successful Illustration Today

symposium at Parsons in November.

karissa krenz is a New York–based

arts and entertainment writer and former

Editor-in-Chief of Chamber Music

magazine. Her writing appears frequently

in publications including Time

Out New York and Playbill. She also

designs and fabricates one-of-a-kind

and limited-edition jewelry sculpted

from found objects and wire.

paula giraldo, Graphic Design ’05

(AAS), studied photography and graphic

design in her native Colombia before

moving to New York to attend Parsons.

She is currently on staff at The New

School as a graphic designer.

david j. lewis is associate professor

and director of the master of architecture

program. He received his BA from

Carleton College, holds an MA in History

of Architecture and Urbanism from

Cornell, and an MArch from Princeton.

Lewis is partner in the New York–based

architecture firm Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis.

matthew sussman is a photographer,

director, and producer whose work has

ranged from international documentary

television to makeover reality shows. He

is currently on staff at The New School

as special project producer.

lisa zeiger (not pictured) was decorative

arts editor for the quarterly interiors

publication nest and a freelance arts

writer in Glasgow, London, and

Cologne. She studied decorative arts at

Sotheby’s London and the University of

Glasgow and holds degrees from

Barnard and Columbia Law School.

Zeiger is at work on her first book,

Blanquita: A Memoir of the Bronx.


10 The Inside Story

100 Years of Interior Design at Parsons

16 Track Housing

Little Houses on the Black River

18 Illuminating Education

A Look at Parsons’ MFA Lighting Program

20 Expanding the Theory of Interiors

Architecture, interior design, and lighting’s new

chair, Kent Kleinman, and interior design’s new

director, Lois Weinthal, discuss the present and

future of the department.

30 The Gift of Education

Interior Design Scholarships at Parsons

news at parsons

5 Design Workshop in Mississippi . . .Parsons

Journals . . . Target: Grocery . . . The Sims. . .

Empowering Kosovar Women . . . Weiss Lectures

alumni profiles

32 Victoria Hagan ’84

33 RE:SPOND Jamie Drake ’78

in every issue

1 Letter from the Dean

4 Letters to the RE:DITOR


22 RE:CORD Alumni News, Upcoming Alumni Events,

and Class Notes

28 RE:COGNITION Gifts to Parsons in 2006

you teLL us

Letters to the RE:DITOR

In the last issue we asked, “Which interior space

has had the greatest influence on your work?”

My mom and I used to play a

game: We would visit the pow-

der rooms in homes, restau-

rants, stores, and hotels, and

rate their level of luxury and

design on a scale of one to

ten. It was just for fun, but my

observation of these spaces

and my memory of them influ-

enced my ability to “see”

rooms. jennifer watty ’93

photo courtesy of jennifer watty

the next issue celebrates the communication design centennial.

you tell us: What is the most interesting change in communication

design you’ve seen since you graduated? Send your letters to

RedEditors@newschool.edu or RE:D Editors, Parsons The New School for Design,

66 Fifth Ave., 6th floor, New York, NY 10011.

Help shape the future of RE:D: Fill out our reader survey online at


The interior space that most

influences my work is Antoni

Gaudi’s Casa Batlló in

Barcelona. Not afraid to take

risks, he mastered freedom of

expression while contradicting

perceptions of the norm, to

create spaces so bizarre and

expressive, yet so beautifully

unique. The use of geometrics,

color, carved woods, walls,

ceiling, and parabolic arches

are astonishing. lyn henry ’8

I once saw a picture of a bed-

room Mario Buatta designed

for the 1984 Kips Bay Boys’

and Girls’ Club Decorator Show

House. At first, one sees a typi-

cal blue-and-white bedroom,

but the walls are actually pale

lavender with touches of salm-

on pink. Instead of a blue can-

opy for the bed, Buatta used a

sheer white fabric that lets in

light. Whenever I am timid

about mixing colors and add-

ing whimsy, I remember this

room. anna wolcott ’0

San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy,

a domed Romanesque cathe-

dral full of elaborate details

and diffused natural light. The

organized, clean surfaces

adorned with mosaics and the

warmth of the space make it

striking, despite the austere

structure. Though it dates back

to the early sixth century, it

has the fundamental values of

the contemporary aesthetic:

simplicity framed in complex

and surprising details and

inspiring lighting solutions.

angelika wrzesinska ’0

photo courtesy of angelika


Growing up in a townhouse in

New York City, the theater and

the colors and textures in

museum exhibitions (and the

spaces in which they’re held)

are among my many sources of

inspiration. Others include

design associates who have

worked for me and have presented

“new ideas” with a

fresher, younger approach.

marguerite franco ’ 1

My childhood home in

Colombia continues to influence

me. The house’s architecture,

inspired by the modern

movement, was a combination

of glass and steel, juxtaposed

with natural stone and terracotta

floors. Most of the rooms

had access to the outdoors,

providing natural light, open

air, and the occasional flood.

Modern furniture combined

with Spanish colonial antiques

created a unique space.

courtney (murray)

goldsmith ’97 aas

news at parsons

Mississippi Returning

The Design Workshop 2006: 39751 InfoWash

by david j. lewis

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a conversation

about The Design Workshop between DeLisle, Mississippi, resi-

dent Martha Murphy and Parsons MArch graduate Federico

Negro ’04 led to the program’s most ambitious effort since its

inception nearly ten years ago. Negro, now a member of

Manhattan-based SHoP Architects, was consulting with Murphy

while working on the firm’s rebuilding efforts in DeLisle, a town

hit hard and dead-center by the storm. Murphy saw an opportu-

nity to engage Parsons in the DeLisle community’s need for basic

amenities and communication and envisioned a solution.

The result was 39751 InfoWash, a combination information cen-

ter and laundromat designed and built in the spring and summer

of 2006 by 12 graduate students and one undergraduate from

Parsons’ architecture programs, with SHoP providing critical

input and support.

During the spring semester, students collectively worked to

research and design 39751 InfoWash, traveling twice to

Mississippi to meet with the client and members of the commu-

nity. By the conclusion of the semester, the students had created

a compelling design, developed a complete set of construction

documents, assembled material orders for the project, and

worked with structural engineer and faculty member Harriet

Markis to execute the structural drawings.

The students spent the summer in DeLisle, living in FEMA trailers

and working 12-hour days on the job site. Under the supervision

of Terry Erickson, the summer studio instructor, who insures that

the students are able to translate their designs into built form,

the group erected the steel structure by hand, installed

structural panels and waterproofing, constructed and insulated

the roof, clad the building in aluminum mesh and stained cedar,

and outfitted the interior spaces with custom-made interior fur-

niture and wall systems. By early fall, the building was in opera-

tion, providing the community with a vital centerpiece for the

area’s rebuilding efforts.

The Design Workshop is the Department of Architecture, Interior Design, and Lighting’s annual

design-build program, in which students work collaboratively with a nonprofit client to conceive,

design, negotiate, and construct a built solution to a real-world urban/environmental challenge.

A feature article on the DeLisle project appeared last fall in the New York Times. Generous sup-

port was provided by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, SOM, Voronado Realty Trust, Sal

La Rosa, Heuer Foundation, and the Dean’s Office at Parsons. www.parsonsdesignworkshop.org.

this page: Laura Lyon, SHoP Architects

Target: Grocery

Addressing Innovation

The Department of Design and Management’s Stephan Weiss Visiting Lectureship on

Business Strategy, Negotiation, and Innovation addresses the dynamic synthesis of

creative vision and strong business sense. Speakers this fall were Peter Laundy of

Doblin, Inc., and Tucker Viemeister (pictured), VP of Creative at Rockwell Group and

founder of Smart Design. The spring semester’s lectures feature Jean Rogers, an associ-

ate principal with the consulting engineering firm Ove Arup and Partners (February 27);

Bruce Nussbaum, essayist, commentator on economic issues, and assistant managing

editor for BusinessWeek (March 15); and ethnographer Genevieve Bell, senior principal

engineer and director of user experience for Intel’s Digital Home Group (April 3). For

information visit www.parsons.newschool.edu/events/.

Over the course of the 2006–07 academic year, a team of students, supervised by fac-

ulty and Target Corporation representatives, is conceptualizing a 50,000-square-foot

prototype grocery store that would be integrated into an urban SuperTarget. Through

the company’s internship and recruitment collaborations with Parsons Career Services,

Target Vice President of Store Design Rich Varda realized that Parsons’ interest in sus-

tainability, focus on cutting-edge design, and student professionalism would make the

school an ideal partner for the upscale discount store. Members of the Departments of

Product Design, Communication Design and Technology, Design and Management, and

Architecture, Interior Design, and Lighting are conceiving all layers of the project: mar-

ket research and branding strategies, environmental impact and sustainability studies,

store flow and mapping, mobile technologies, and product development.



Helping Hands in Kosovo

Building on a collaboration with women in Rwanda in 2005, last fall Parsons continued

its involvement with Women for Women International (WFWI), a nonprofit aid organiza-

tion that helps women in war-torn countries cultivate job skills in design, production,

and marketing. Integrated Design Curriculum students in the Core Colloquium: Cross-

Cultural Collaborations class worked with women in Kosovo to help them achieve a sus-

tainable source of income. Students developed products that the women could easily

produce themselves and sell through WFWI’s online bazaar and retailers in the United

States. Several designs will be available by Mother’s Day, including an apron and place

settings accented with traditional embroidery. Visit www.womenforwomen.org.

Off the Shelf

Parsons publishes two journals that highlight the scholarly discourse and discoveries

emerging from the school. Since 2002 the Department of Architecture, Interior Design,

and Lighting has published Scapes, which discusses “global, metropolitan, and

departmental perspectives on architecture.” Edited by Joanna Merwood, it is available

in print and online at www2.parsons.edu/architecture/aidl/scapes.html. The Journal of

Design & Management, launched in the spring of 2006, examines and explores the


intersection of design and business. Each issue will highlight people, projects,

approaches, and events fundamental to the development of pioneering ideas, while

focusing on economy, society, and the marketplace. Funded by a grant from the Karan-

Weiss Foundation, it will appear annually in print and online at www.parsons.edu/dm.


Machinima, Mods, and More

Parsons takes on The Sims, the popular video game in which players control the

lives of virtual people, in an exhibition at the Chelsea Art Museum. Communication

design, design and technology, and illustration students have created pieces utiliz-

ing traditional and technology-driven art forms including machinima (using a game

engine to produce animation or film), interactive media, and three-dimensional

printing. The exhibit is among several the Department of Communication Design

and Technology will present at the museum: Ten Years Running, featuring work by

faculty and alumni (April 5–14), The Sims (April 19–May 12), and thesis exhibits

(May 17–26, BFA, and May 31–June 9, MFA).


Making a Scene in New York

parsons 8th annual benefit and fashion show honoring oscar de la

renta, may 8, 200 , at pier 0, chelsea piers 1. Honoree Oscar de la Renta

and former President Bill Clinton 2. Annette de la Renta and Vogue Editor-in-

Chief Anna Wintour 3. A student design from the Fashion Centennial

Collection 4. New School President Bob Kerrey, Bill Clinton, Parsons Board of

Governors Chair Sheila Johnson, and Judge William Newman.

Photos by Patrick McMullan





2 3

the reunion reception for architecture, interior and environmental

design, and lighting graduates, october 23, 200 , at the häfele

showroom 1. Parsons Dean Tim Marshall, Madeleine Moore ’64, and AIDL

Chair Kent Kleinman 2. Wid Chapman, Ronald Bricke ’61 3. Katherine Bragg

’07, Erin Brandariz ’06, Florence Guiraud ’06 4. Angelina Wrzesinska ’04,

George Lyall, Anna Lee Wolcott ’04. Photos by Nick Ferrari ’03



8 9

1 2

speed of light, october 23, 200 , at tishman auditorium 1. Presented

with the Museum of Arts & Design, this interdisciplinary international

design conference brought together innovators in the fields of physics,

architecture and interior design, and theatrical lighting 2. Lighting

Designer Ingo Maurer in conversation with Murray Moss, founder of the

SoHo design store, Moss. Photos by Alan Klein

1 2

4 5

second annual parsons centurion award for design excellence

luncheon honoring interior designer betty sherrill ’ 1 and mcmillen

inc., april 11, 200 , at the mandarin oriental, new york 1. Former Dean

Paul Goldberger, Betty Sherrill, and Victoria Hagan ’84 2. Victoria Hagan,

Tess Dempsey ’88, and Anne Pyne 3. Paul Goldberger, Betty Sherrill, and

New School President Bob Kerrey 4. James Borynack ’67 and Michael

Vollbracht ’68 5. Anne Pyne speaks about her mother, Betty Sherrill.

Photos by Patrick McMullan and Matthew Sussman


board of governors holiday party hosted by sheila c. johnson at

saks fifth avenue, november 29, 200 1. A tree-lighting toast to Sheila C.

Johnson 2. Peter Darrow, board member Denise Seegal, and Fashion Design

Chair Tim Gunn 3. Patti Butler, Judge William Newman 4. Parsons Dean Tim

Marshall, Fine Arts Chair Donald Porcaro, and Sheila C. Johnson.

Photos by David Minder

paolo soleri, october 1 , 200 ,

swayduck auditorium Renowned

architect Paolo Soleri spoke about

his work on the occasion of receiving

the National Design Awards’

Lifetime Achievement Award.

Photo by Yong Kim


3 4

1 3

illustration today symposium, november 11, 200 1. At Tishman

Auditorium: Illustration Chair Steven Guarnaccia, Maira Kalman, Peter de

Seve ’80, Peter Sis 2. At the reception: Assistant Professor Dan Nadel,

illustrators Kim and Gene Deitch 3. Guarnaccia (center) with Friends With

You. Photos by Crissie Ferrara



The Inside Story

Celebrating 100 years of interior design at Parsons,

RE:D recounts some of the notable events, trends, and

personalities that make up the department’s history.

by lisa zeiger

The story of interior design at Parsons The New School for Design is central to the his-

tory of the school itself. It is an intriguing genealogy of mentorship, revealing that

human relationships and personal preferences have been as influential as theory in

shaping the curriculum over many generations. While Frank Alvah Parsons initially cre-

ated a department that reflected his own passion for the decorative arts, today’s stu-

dents study architecture as a foundation, learning to blend technical skills with

aesthetics, business knowledge, cultural imperatives, and scholarship—a progression

that can be charted through the succession of personalities that have animated the

program from then until now.

In 1904 the New York School of Art, founded in 1896 by painter Willliam Merritt Chase,

hired Frank Alvah Parsons, who introduced courses in design, color theory, and interior

decoration—the first such program in the United States. Chase retired in 1907, and 39-

year-old Parsons purchased the school, which officially adopted his name. He elevated

decorative arts to the same level as fine art and convened powerful names in interior

design, making the school a formidable

resource for those aspiring to a career in

the field. Within a decade the board

boasted design luminaries Lady Elsie de

Wolfe Mendl, Elsie Cobb Wilson, and Lady

Duff Gordon, who were joined in 1922 by

Heyworth Campbell, Vogue’s art director,

Eleanor Brown, founder of McMillen, Inc.,

and Ogden Codman, Jr., co-author with

Edith Wharton of The Decoration of

Houses. The aura Parsons spun around

his school, through his unwavering con-

victions about period style and his social

connections, made it the most prestigious

institution of its kind in the country.

this page: “Empire Chair,” circa 1930, by Ina Dell

Marvin, a student of the Interior, Architecture, and

Decoration Department, Parsons Paris (courtesy of

the Kellen Archives Center); the Donghia Materials

Library (photo by Paula Giraldo); students at work

in the Donghia Center (photo by Bob Handelman).

Parsons was ahead of his time in promot-

ing the commercial fields of interior design,

fashion, and advertising, as he correctly

foresaw image as playing an important

role in the expansion of art and design in

America. Although he was not interested

in the modernist revolution taking shape

in Europe at the start of the 20th century,

the curriculum developed students’ under-

standing of the tenets of furniture design,

architectural composition, and color use

through exposure to the highest building

craftsmanship in the European classical

tradition. His aim was “to train [students’]

eye, instill in them an idea of quality, and

develop their sense of style.”

10 11

While expertise in styles of earlier centuries

was a hallmark of the department through

the mid-20th century, it has been eclipsed by

a modernist focus in the last 30 years, though

a revival is emerging. Residential designer

Danielle Galland ’95, acting director of inte-

rior design from January 2005 to December

2006, has sought to restore a greater balance

of connoisseurship and technique.

“We have not forgotten the foundations from

which the department made the most strik-

ing contributions to the field,” says Galland.

The demands of preparing students for the

profession have dramatically changed over

the past 80 years. As a result, knowing the

European tradition is not sufficient to create

a well-qualified and diverse designer nimble

enough to work in the varied areas of the

field. Historically, we have the benefit of hav-

ing lived through the modernist revolution

and can question and incorporate the les-

sons learned from that time into a broad

approach encompassing history, theory, and

practice. Training today’s interior designer is

a great responsibility and one that is continu-

ally questioned by the faculty.”

Parsons’ second great player, star graduate

William Odom, joined the faculty in 1909 and

became Frank Alvah Parsons’ business part-

ner in 1920. He launched his pet project, the

Grand Tour, a six-week summer trip through

France and Italy, through which he acquaint-

ed himself with Europe’s wealthy aesthetes.

A Parsons’ atelier was established in Paris,

granting students entrée to magnificent pri-

vate houses and collections. Exalted Americans living in Paris

became devotees: Edith Wharton, Ogden Codman, Jr., Elsie de

Wolfe, and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt. In 1918, Odom published

his highly-respected History of Italian Furniture, and for his devo-

tion to the decorative arts of France he was anointed a Chevalier

de la Legion d’Honneur.

The next great Parsons prodigy was Van Day Truex, who enrolled

as a student in 1923. Born in Kansas into a family who managed

a J.C. Penney outlet, Truex was a classic misfit artist whose father

refused to support his design studies. Frank Parsons became not

only Truex’s teacher but his social shepherd, inducting this Dust

Bowl aristocrat into New York high society. By 1924 he was

named top student, in 1925 he received a

Paris scholarship, and upon his gradua-

tion in 1927 Truex became an instructor,

dividing his time between the New York

and Paris schools.

“He became my mentor and good friend

and was nice enough to give me a partial

working scholarship,” says Melvin Dwork

’41. “It was a great school and a privilege

to be there. Van had a sense of style we

all looked up to—he gave the school a

sort of aura.”

Upon Parsons’ death in 1930, Odom took

charge and appointed Truex head of the

Paris program and associate director of

the New York school. Truex was a brilliant

fundraiser, ensuring the institution’s sur-

vival. He never abandoned his predeces-

The demands of

preparing students

for the profession

have dramatically

changed in the past

80 years.

sors’ insistence on art history, period

design, and academic drawing and faith-

fully transmitted the neoclassical tradition

as the pinnacle of interior design.

Privately and subtly Truex escaped his

mentors’ 18th-century taste and devel-

oped his own style, partly through a bond

with Jean-Michel Frank. (Frank, widely

acknowledged as one of the most influen-

tial designers of the thirties, is credited

with designing the clean and simple lines

of the ubiquitous Parsons table while

working with Truex and students at the

Paris school.) Truex learned the business

side of decorating from Lady Mendl, who

was above all a businesswoman (a “gang-

ster,” as Truex called her, and “the White

Queen” to Dwork). This affiliation would

serve Truex well as he entered the field

later in his career.

At the onset of World War II in Europe,

Odom told Truex to close the Paris school.

Truex joined the faculty in New York—at its

new location at 136 East 57th Street—and

became vice president. After Odom passed

away in 1942, Eleanor Brown led the board

of trustees to unanimously elect Truex

president of the school. Parsons flourished:

New members joined the faculty, Truex

acquired prestigious patrons from high soci-

ety and the world of design, and the student

demographic was dramatically altered by an

influx of male war veterans. Academically,

Truex championed freedom in interior

design while still honoring the legacy of

Odom and Parsons. His famous lectures to

the student body were lessons in the art of

living, from omelettes to boiserie.

Among Truex’s famous prodigies was Albert

I had just hung wall

brackets supporting

blue-and-white Delft

jars. Stanley urged me

to take this penchant

as far as it would go.

–Mario Buatta

Hadley ’49, who would go on to become the “Dean of American Decorating.” It was

under Truex that Hadley was hired to teach at Parsons immediately following his gradu-

ation. He went on to work for Mrs. Brown at McMillen, and eventually began his famous

partnership with Sister Parish at their firm, Parish Hadley.

“I had been with [Roslyn Rosier’s shop] three months when Van Truex called and asked

me to join the interior design faculty at Parsons,” says Hadley in Adam Lewis’s Albert

Hadley: The Story of America’s Preeminent Interior Designer. “During the remaining

days that I worked for [Roslyn], she tried to convince me to decline the teaching posi-

tion, but I had made up my mind. I knew that a faculty position at Parsons, and the

opportunity to have extended exposure to the Parsons philosophy of design, could only

benefit my future.”

But after a complex series of events, Truex was

ousted by the board of directors in 1954. At 50, he

was out of a job and shunned by the school to

which he had devoted his life. He soon triumphed

as design director of Tiffany & Co., whose décor

and merchandise retain his imprint to this day.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s the department

was led by the designer Stanley Barrows, who is

still venerated by former students.

“Stanley would make you look into yourself and

express what was inside you,” recalls Mario Buatta

’61. “He once came by for a drink, and I had just

hung wall brackets supporting blue-and-white Delft

jars. Stanley urged me to take this penchant as far

as it would go.”

this page: Classroom at the New York School of Fine

and Applied Art (Parsons School of Design) at 80th

Street and Broadway, circa 1933–34. Photo courtesy of

the Kellen Archives Center.

12 13

Mary Louise Gertler ’61 recalls her three-month

European study trip with Barrows as a privi-

leged glimpse at “fascinating, private places.”

She learned the secrets of proportion through

Barrows’s weekly sketching excursions out-

doors and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

During what Gertler calls a “transitional time”

for the school, Barrows fused a love of the past

with exposure to “well-designed contemporary

furniture, which he encouraged us to use in our

projects. Our floor plans were traditional:

Everybody had a table to put a drink on and a

place to sit.”

Is it sustainable? How will people

behave in this environment? Can

design elevate the human spirit?

In 1964 the Department of Interior Design was

reworked into a new discipline, environmental

design. Some graduates bemoan this era,

which lasted until 1992, but Jimmy Gubelmann

’73, architect and head of Windigo Design in

New Jersey, strongly disagrees. He experienced

environmental design as the disciplined libera-

tion of each student’s innermost gifts.

“We were given a broad base of classes to

choose from,” says Gubelmann, “and in your

first year, known as the ‘base year,’ you were

required to take general classes: a 3-D design

studio, an elective in color run by artist Hector

Leonardi, 2-D design, and lecture courses on

applied arts from antiquity to modernism.”

According to Gubelmann, the past was not ignored, but set

forth as the seed of contemporary forms. He especially recalls

his teacher Ian McCarg, author of Designing with Nature,

required reading for all students. McCarg’s philosophy was a

powerful call for congruity in all design endeavors.

The book taught you not to design separately from the envi-

ronment but to be inclusive in your products, whether build-

ing a house, room, or desk,” says Gubelmann. “You had to

respect what existed, and design new elements that harmo-

nized. You don’t erect a Le Corbusier in a Georgian town. We

also learned self-evident technical principles, which all too

often are ignored: Don’t build on a ravine, don’t build on a

slope with morning light, but one with afternoon light. Ian was

the catalyst who enabled us to become sympathetic to the

world around us.”

above: Judges of the Pini di San Miniato Scholarship Award Competition, 1961. This

award enabled a graduating student of interior decoration to study in Italy. Robert J.

Castle (far left), chair of the Department of Interior Design, looks on as the judges,

(left to right) Salvador Dali, the Duchess of Windsor, and Mrs. Arthur A. Houghton,

Jr., survey the entries. Ronald Bricke ’61 won the award. Photo courtesy of the

Kellen Archives Center.


The designer Luis Rey ’67, who attended

Parsons during this period of dramatic

change, thoroughly relished this clash of

interior design training with a new empha-

sis on architecture. Barrows represented

the first camp, and the new dean, Alan

Tate (appointed in 1964), the second.

“I was very lucky,” Rey says of this odd

couple, “I had the old, I had the new. I

admired both. Once we were assigned to

design a dining room, and Barrows hung

my plan on the wall and gave me an ‘A.’

The next day, Alan Tate scratched out the

‘A’ and changed it to an ‘F.’ But Alan Tate

made you design things you’d never get

to do in your life.”

While the client of

Odom’s time was

always understood as

the wealthy urbanite,

it is no longer enough

to design for this


Under a seemingly radical banner, environmental design had a conservative strain,

retaining the basic tenets of Frank Parsons while promoting the new forms students

invented. Gubelmann still cherishes the freedom instructors permitted students to fol-

low their unique obsessions, even if this meant total rejection of a given assignment.

The instructors would say, we’re building a church in a community with three different

religions,” he says. “Four of us would then get together and declare we wanted to

make a tramway through Central Park. We’d go to Alan Tate and he would facilitate

our proposal.”

In the early nineties interior design was again established as a distinct department.

The program continues to evolve to meet the imperatives of the times. Galland speaks

of four elements that are considered to be the essence of interior design: structure,

proportion, social purpose, and context.

“While each could encompass design ele-

ments within one room,” says Galland,

“we are continually challenging students to

think of not only the visual effect of their

designs, but the larger social and econom-

ic impact. Is it sustainable? How will peo-

ple behave in this environment? Can the

design elevate the human spirit? How will

a particular demographic respond in this

environment? We ask these questions

while considering the shape, color, and

composition of the elements within the

design. Today we focus on students’ abili-

ty to work at widely divergent scales, from

a single room to a Target prototype store.

Economics and function are always vari-

ables students are required to navigate as

well. While the client of William Odom’s

time was always understood as the

wealthy urbanite, it is no longer enough to

design for this one constituency.”

“While Parsons’ roots were established in

residential design,” Galland continues, “a

graduate of Parsons The New School for

Design today is as likely to work on corpo-

rate, public, or hospitality design, as well

as for the most influential residential

design firms. The amazing diversity of the

program’s student demographics broad-

ens Parsons’ educational influence well

beyond the United States. The future of

the program engages new technologies

and arenas that are suddenly under the

umbrella of the interior, effecting changes

in the field that could never have been

imagined even 30 years ago.”

With additional contributions by

Danielle Galland and Karissa Krenz.

opposite: “Colour Spectrum Chart,” 1928, by Ina Dell

Marvin, a student at Parsons Paris. While the original

Paris school closed at the onset of World War II, Paris

studies remain available to Parsons students today.

Courtesy of the Kellen Archives Center.

this page: Students visiting the showroom of the

interior design firm McMillen, Inc., 1955. Eleanor S.

Brown (class of ’18), president of the firm, is at left.

Photo by Clemens Kalischer.

track Housing

Little Houses on the Black River is an ingeniously adaptable clutch of temporary dwellings

designed to accommodate visiting designers in Hällefors, Sweden. The project won the top honor

in the design school category at the 2006 International Contemporary Furniture Fair for students

in Parsons The New School for Design’s product design program in collaboration with France’s St.

Etienne School of Art and Design and Sweden’s Konstfack University College of Arts, Craft and

Design. (Visit bridgefriggebod.blogspot.com for more photos and info.) More than 100 sustain-

able, problem-solving collaborations calling on design integration, community engagement, and

nonprofit and corporate partnerships have been spearheaded by Product Design in the past four

years under the guidance of chair Tony Whitfield. This year, students take on the flood-crippled

town of Margaretville, New York, addressing business and main street renewal and a community

center redesign. Follow their progress at the “Revitalizing Margaretville, New York” blog at

margaretvilleny.blogspot.com. Photos by Åke E:son Lindman.

Illuminating Education

A Look at the MFA Lighting Program

Light is as elusive an element of human existence as it is ubiqui-

tous; as much a variable as it is a constant. It has a significant

effect on the way we live and think and feel, yet lighting is often

designed with little regard for aesthetic consequences or emo-

tional effect. The Master of Fine Arts in Lighting program at

Parsons The New School for Design is a torchbearer of lighting

education and experimentation in relation to human experience,

attracting students determined to expose and explore the ways

in which individuals perceive and interact with light.

The study of lighting has been part of Parsons, in various forms,

for more than 30 years. In the 1970s, pioneering Professor James

Nuckolls spearheaded the program, which in 1984–85 evolved

into a two-year master of fine arts degree (as a component of the

Continuing Education department). In 1996–97 the program

became part of the Department of Architecture, Interior Design,

and Lighting. It was briefly altered to a one-year (three-semester)

structure offering a master of arts degree and then returned to

the more robust two-year MFA program in 2004.

While most academic programs concentrate primarily on the

technical considerations of “illumination engineering,” Parsons

focuses on design and social practice, integrating strong techni-

cal coursework with studies in culture, history and theory, sociol-

ogy and psychology, perception, and design components of

lighting. The emphasis on the importance of social responsibility

and sustainability is a common thread throughout all courses,

and further encourages interaction with architecture and interior

design students in order to give complete consideration to the

holistic understanding of the built environment.

The buzz on lighting’s high-quality and unique approach has

attracted top students from across the globe, and the program

has quickly become the most culturally diverse at Parsons: 45

students represent 17 different countries and as many distinct

professional backgrounds and undergraduate degrees—from the

obvious fields of architecture, interior design, theater, product

design, environmental studies, and fine arts to the less predict-

able areas of anthropology, psychology, journalism, mathemat-

ics, and economics.

“I’m intrigued by how the topic of light can bring together such a

diverse group of individuals,” says Derek Porter, director of the

lighting program. “I tend to think about these human relation-

ships more abstractly: Light exists at peripheral boundaries, on

surfaces, the edges, as a spatial catalyst, a binder of foreign

matter. It simultaneously exists everywhere but yet nowhere

until it touches something.”

This cultural and professional diversity brings an uncommon

richness to the studio that complements the formal education

offered in class. “Individuals that grow up in Sweden versus

Greece are biologically conditioned through the unique environ-

mental exposures of their respective geographical regions to

understand light differently,” says Porter. “In addition to these

biological factors, they each carry a distinct cultural identity with

light through color and symbology.”

The caliber of the education students receive from the lighting

program is apparent in the success of its alumni. Parsons

Lighting graduates are highly sought after in manufacturing,

research, architecture and interior design, and theatrical and

exhibition lighting, and a number have started private practices.

opposite (clockwise from upper left): Chanel Ginza, LED/Electrochromic Glass

Media Wall by Parsons graduate Matthew Tanteri (’92) of Tanteri + Associates

(photo by Vincent Knapp); energy-efficient lighting for Boston University’s Agganis

Arena and Recreation Center lobby by Mark Loeffler, IALD (MFA ’90); a 25-foot table

designed by lighting students for a dinner following Architectural Lighting magazine’s

Light & Architecture Design Awards roundtable discussion; Loeffler’s design

for the Boston University Life Science and Engineering Building.



Expanding the Theory of Interiors

This year, the Department of Architecture, Interior Design, and Lighting

welcomes a new chair, architect and scholar Kent Kleinman, and a new

director of the interior design program, Lois Weinthal.

As an introduction to the Parsons commu-

nity, RE:D asked Kleinman and Weinthal

to discuss their new bailiwick, its needs,

and goals for the future.

kk: To begin, it is important to emphasize

that the department is made up of three

unique disciplines: lighting, architecture,

and interior design. What’s exciting is that

we’re knitting those three disciplines

together in novel ways, which raises all

sorts of questions about their common-

alities and differences. Asking questions

is one thing that we have started to do

very well, and we want to continue to do it

much more aggressively.

lw: This is a great opportunity for us to

be thinking about what interior design

means at the present and how we can

start cultivating a program that responds

to where it is situated right now. We also

need to look at where it is going, because

there’s so much interaction between

interiors, architecture, lighting, and textile

and furniture design. One thing I’m really

looking forward to is actually building

those bridges, not only within our pro-

gram, but also to the rest of Parsons.

kk: The question of what constitutes the

interior is interesting. What kind of clients

will we be serving in the future? What do

the demographics mean for the profes-

sion of interior design? What new sites

and practices are available for future

interior designers? What new kinds of

hybrid bodies are we housing? I think

the future of the discipline, at least at

Parsons, has to address these kinds

of questions.

lw: This is true. Interiors is filling so many

gaps that architects and industrial design-

ers may have done in the past. Now the

interior designer is becoming the person

who coordinates everything. The disci-

pline encompasses much more.

I’m also very interested in what a theory

of interior design might be. It’s one of the

elements of the curriculum that has been

lacking in the academic realm, and pro-

fessionally it’s never really discussed. I’m

hoping that it will surface more through-

out the undergraduate and graduate inte-

rior design programs, as well as the

overall discipline.

kk: Lois is bringing both creative energy

and scholarly rigor to the table, and I think

it’s going to be exciting to try to write a

theory for interior design. It’s an agenda

kent kleinman, whose scholarly

focus is 20th-century european

modernism, was previously

professor and chair at the

department of architecture at

suny, buffalo. a recipient of

numerous grants and awards, he

has exhibited worldwide and has

published works including

rudolf arnheim: revealing vision,

the villa müller: a work of adolf

loos, and mies van der rohe: the

krefeld villas.

20 21

that’s new to Parsons, and Lois is perfect-

ly situated through her training and her

work in Austin to do that in a way that very

few people could. We’re really excited

about having Lois on board.

Another interesting subject on the table is

a graduate studies program for interior

design. We are quite determined to put

one in place by fall 2009. What it’ll look

like, we don’t know. We’re determined to

lois weinthal, who comes to

parsons from the university of

texas at austin, is particularly

interested in the relationships

between architecture, interiors,

and objects. she has received

grants from the graham

foundation, a fulbright award,

and a daad (german academic

exchange service) award. she has

lectured, published, and exhibit-

ed widely, and is principal of the

design practice weinthal works.

do it in a way that’s ahead of the curve, so

we have to tackle questions that can’t be

addressed on the undergraduate level.

lw: I always meet potential students who

have finished undergraduate degrees and

realized that they’re actually interested in

interiors. I think the knowledge such peo-

ple bring from having studied other disci-

plines first often makes a program much

richer; it begins to link not just to Parsons,

but to the rest of The New School.

kk: As we start thinking about expanding

into the graduate realm, the need for sup-

port for students is huge. We’re compet-

ing for the best in the world—that’s our

market—and we don’t want financial need

to be a limiting factor. One of the needs

that we have—and it’s an urgent one—is

to build scholarships for students.

lw: It’s also important to mention the

support that the materials library has

been given, not just as a source for stu-

dents to reference, but also as a place to

supply materials for full-scale experi-

ments. The materials are a necessary tool

that students need for the experience of

working with them.

kk: You can’t represent the sensual touch

of a certain fabric, or the relationship of a

body to a piece of furniture—you have to

build it. The beautiful thing about interior

design is that you can build it; it’s not like

you’re designing a city. We need help to

support that kind of activity. Here I want

to express our profound gratitude toward

the Angelo Donghia Foundation, without

whose support for the current materials

library, we couldn’t really be thinking

about these experiments—we wouldn’t

have the infrastructure. Donghia’s sup-

port has been so productive in advancing

the program.

We’re planning a symposium in March

on the state of interior design, to look

at it with a view toward developing a

curriculum for the graduate program.

There will be lots of details forthcoming,

but we just want everyone to know that

it’s going to be an exciting event. We’re

going to put lots of questions on the

table, and we’re inviting lots of people

to come and talk to us.

lw: The event is so important, especially

for the discipline, and I’m so excited for

what will come out of it. It promises to be

one of the collaborations that will lead to

a new definition of interior design.

kk: I want to add how much we’re going to

need the faculty’s advice as we move for-

ward into terrain that is pretty unknown.

There aren’t that many interior design

graduate programs in the world, and we

want to be the best. We are lucky that we

have very, very successful alums that can

guide, direct, and prevent us from falling

off a cliff. We want to communicate to the

alumni that we really need their help. It’s

not just that we’re going forward and leav-

ing the past behind. It’s very much a con-

solidation of the past, so that we move

forward collectively.


rachel e. denny ’0 , Associate for Alumni Relations,

and jessica l. arnold ’0 (ms), Director of Alumni


Dear Alumni,

To keep ourselves warm this winter, we decided to crunch

some numbers:

21,500+: The number of Parsons alumni in all 50 states and more

than 75 countries around the world.

100: The age of our interior design, fashion design, and commu-

nication design programs. We’d like to thank the interior design

alumni who attended the reunion reception in October and invite

you to check out selected photos from that event on page 8 (the

complete set is available on our Web site). Communication Design celebrates its

anniversary this semester with many exciting activities including the Timeline

Project, an interactive Web site where alumni can contribute their experiences in the

program, and a centennial celebration event on May 19.

7,000+: The number of alumni who will receive invitations to Parsons The New

School for Design’s Reunion 2007 (for those who graduated in a year ending in 1, 3,

5, 7, or 9). You can make this number higher by helping us locate alumni who’ve

dropped off our radar. If you would like to help us track down those incommunicado

class members or share any leads you might have, please get in touch with us. The

reunion will take place on May 22; invitations will be mailed soon!

1,097: The number of 2006 graduates who are being asked to complete a very

important employment and professional practices survey, which will inform the

Office of Career Services how best to serve students and alumni. The survey will be

posted online in March.

275: The number of graduates who attended alumni functions in 2006. We hope to

increase that number significantly in 2007 with more events, a larger reunion, and

the advent of regional activities. If you live outside the New York City area and are

interested in hosting an alumni reception, let us know! For those of you in New York

City or California (or if you’re planning to be in either of those areas) check out our

list of upcoming events.

150: The number of class notes received from Parsons alumni in 2006. Keep them

coming and stay tuned for another RE:D supplement this summer.

14,000+: The number of Parsons alumni the Office of Alumni Relations corresponded

with via mail, telephone, or email in 2006. To contact us, call 212.229.5662 x3784,

email alumni@newschool.edu, or visit www.newschool.edu/alumni.

Hope to see you in 2007.

upcoming aLumni events

Invitations will be mailed for all of these

events. If you do not receive one, please call

212.229.5662 x3784 or email

alumni@newschool.edu. You may also visit the

events page at www.newschool.edu/alumni for

full details.


april 12–13

16th annual symposium on the decorative

arts and design

Target National Design Education Center at


2 East 91st Street, ground floor

New York, New York

The History of Decorative Arts and Design

MA program hosts its annual graduate student

symposium, bringing together rising scholars

of the history of decorative arts, material

culture, and design from universities across

America and Europe.

( ) ms

( ) mrs

( ) mr

april 30

runway show for alumni, press,

and students

Grand Hyatt New York

Park Avenue at Grand Central

New York, New York

Featuring the work of Parsons’ graduating

fashion design students.

may 19

communication design centennial celebration

55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor

New York, New York

For communication design and design and

technology alumni.

may 22, 2007

parsons odd class-years reunion for those who

graduated in a year ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9.

Theresa Lang Student and

Community Center

55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor

New York, New York

rsvp early for alumni reunion 2007


april 9, 2007

reception for Los angeles alumni and parents

Mulholland Tennis Club

2555 Crest View Drive

Los Angeles, California

If you live in the LA area, make sure we have

up-to-date contact information for you.

august -9

siggrapH 2007

the 34th international conference on

computer graphics and interactive techniques

San Diego, California

We will be holding an alumni reception in San

Diego during SIGGRAPH 2007. All alumni

attending the convention as well as those living

in the San Diego area are welcome. Stay tuned

for more details, and if you are planning to

attend the convention, please let us know!

Invitations for Reunion 2007 (see above) will be mailed in late March, but you can register early and save on the ticket price!

Tickets purchased by March 30: $20 for 1 ticket or $30 for 2.* Tickets purchased after March 30: $25 for 1 ticket or $40 for 2.*

The early registration deadline is Friday, March 30, 2007. Send the form below and your payment to the Office of Alumni Relations,

The New School, 55 West 13th St., 7th floor, New York, NY 10001, or call 212.229.5662 x3784 to RSVP with a credit card.

You may also fax this form to 212.229.5588.


first name last name (maiden name) class year


address city / state zip code


telephone ( ) home ( ) office ( ) other email address

A check for $ ..................... is enclosed, made payable to Parsons The New School for Design.

Please charge $ ..................... to my Visa, MasterCard, American Express


card number exp. date



For more information, call 212.229.5662 x3784 or email alumni@newschool.edu.

*If you buy a ticket and are unable to attend, the amount paid will be counted as a gift to the Parsons annual fund.




jeffrey olinger ’03 received a fellowship

from EDAW London to work on the

2012 Olympic Games. He was also a finalist

in the 2005 Green Builders Design

Competition hosted by the U.S. Green

Building Council.

sarah schwaber ’05 worked on a project

that appeared as the “featured idea

house” in the November issue of Coastal

Living magazine.


susan mendola angelo ’85 currently

does freelance special publications work

for major corporations including Gannett.

Prior to this she worked for Savvy magazine

and Arista Records (for eight years),

until taking a break to spend time with her


mimi so ’88 was recently profiled in

Elements magazine for her success as a

jewelry designer. Her accomplishments

include designing Neiman Marcus’ fastest

growing precious jewelry launch in history,

opening stores internationally, and

adorning red carpet celebrities.

rosemary simpkins ’88 exhibited her

interactive sculptural “bookwork,” Twin

Books, for two months this fall at the Cape

Cod Museum of Art. First shown in 2002,

the piece contains clippings and photocopies

of news articles and other memorabilia

about the attacks on the World

Trade Center, which she collected from

September 2001 to September 2002.

Each “tower” is 24” high and comprises

55 accordion-shaped books (totaling 110,

the number of floors each building had).

Simpkins received an MA in Book Arts

from the London Institute’s Camberwell

College of Arts in 1996.

moulsari jain ’04 worked with Real

Design in New York City for two years,

creating branding and materials for The

Silk Road Project, Bill T. Jones Dance

Company, Rubin Museum of Art, and

others. She recently moved to

Amsterdam, “for a new experience.”



anne woodworth ’92 (MA) is editing

and design supervisor of APA Books at the

American Psychological Association.

diane wachs ’05 (MA) is a decorative arts

specialist at Cowan’s Auctions in

Linwood, Ohio. Previously she was executive

director of the Headley-Whitney

Museum in Lexington, Ohio. She has also

held curatorial positions with King Manor

in Queens, and the O’Connell Gallery at

Trinity College in Washington, D.C.



elizabeth clark billipp ’05 is an

advertising account executive for People


panteleimon “pantelis” melissinos

’85 (Illustration), ’87 (MFA, Painting)

is a painter, playwright, set and costume

designer, composer, and third-generation

sandal-maker (son of Stavros Melissinos,

the famed “Poet Sandal-Maker of

Athens”). Since the early 1920s,

Melissinos Art in Athens’ Monistiraki district

has been a destination for artists,

intellectuals, and seekers of the family’s

custom-made footwear. It has been

visited by the likes of Sophia Loren,

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and The

Beatles and was featured in Vogue magazine

and by NBC during the 2004 Athens

Olympics. Pantelis has served as the artistic

director of the Greek Cultural Center in

New York City, and reviews of his recent

hit play Bacchus named it among the best

modern Greek comedies.

2 2


siddharth jatia ’02 (MFA) has been

working with the design firm Razorfish for

the last year as senior Web strategist and

user experience lead. He previously

worked for Electronic Arts for more than

four years leading the production of

games like NCAA Football and Madden

NFL Football.


ellen (howard) burkhart ’81 worked at

Donnkenny Apparel for 16 years as

designer, senior designer, and then direc-

tor of technical design. She currently has

her own soap company in Florida.

lela rose ’93 (AAS) has recently signed a

deal with Payless ShoeSource to create

the Lela Rose for Payless collection, a line

of original footwear and accessory designs.

The new line had its debut at Lela’s New

York Fashion Week show in February and

will be available for purchase at Payless

stores next fall. Lela designs ready-to-

wear apparel under the Lela Rose label,

which is sold in more than 70 specialty

stores nationwide, as well as Bergdorf

Goodman, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus,

Bloomingdale’s, and internationally in

Canada, France, Italy, Russia, Taiwan,

and Japan.

leah benjamin ’98 is senior designer of

the women’s clothing collection at Calvin

Klein in New York.

aneta genova ’00 is involved in building

a helpful Web site for fashion students,


which lists a variety of sources for fabrics,

trims, leather, knitting, fashion, and art


michelle haim ’00 (Interior Design)

is a senior designer at the North Miami-

based design firm Fanny Haim &

Associates. Haim’s designs for Centro, a

new 4,500-square-foot restaurant and

lounge in Miami’s new Espiritu Santo

Plaza in the Brickell Key area, won a first-

place award in the Hospitality category of

the 2006 design competition sponsored

by the American Society of Interior

Designers’ Florida South chapter. Her

work on the Miami restaurant Q Lounge

was highlighted in Architectural Lighting

magazine and the Miami Herald (which

also did a cover story on her work on a Bal

Harbour residence), and she has been

featured in Casa & Estilo magazine.


sumit kumar ’01 (AAS) has successfully

combined his Parsons degree with his

engineering background from MIT in

Supply Chain Management. He currently

works in operations and logistics as a

consultant with Capgemini Consulting

(formerly Ernst & Young).

jada (casteel) loveless ’01 (AAS)

launched a luxury handbag line in

September 2006. Within six weeks it was

picked up by Jeffrey New York and Atlanta,

and she has met with other major luxury

retailers. The collection includes clutches

and minaudieres made of exotic skins,

and jewelry of vermeil encrusted with pre-

cious and semi-precious stones. Visit

jadaloveless.com for complete details.


leslie wayne ’85 received the 2006 New

York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in

Painting. This year her work has been

shown in Selections from the Permanent

Collection Since the 1950s at the Corcoran

Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; Poesie

at the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York

City; Peace Tower/Whitney Biennial at the

Whitney Museum of American Art in New

York; and Pull at the Red Gallery at

Savannah College of Art and Design. Her

solo show, Trouble in Paradise, will be at

the Jack Shainman Gallery in 2007.

lisa petker-mintz ’87 has exhibited her

artwork in New York City and Long Island

for the past 20 years. Her most recent

show was at the Plainview-Old Bethpage

Library in November and December 2006,

which featured her floral collages and

highly intricate linear graphite studies.

juri morioka ’90 presented a collection

of paintings, Pure Love, in June 2006 at

Butters Gallery in Portland, Oregon. Her

newest works, Compositions in Four

Dimensions, are on display this February

and March at Merge Gallery in New York

City. (www.juri.org)

olja stipanovi ’98 (BFA) and ’00 (MFA)

exhibited photographs at the Centre

Culturel Français de Turin in Turin, Italy,

this December and January. The show,

Video Dia Logh, featured several interna-

tional artists.


jack looney ’56 (AAS) recently published

a book titled Now Batting, Number…

The Mystique, Superstition, and Lore

of Baseball’s Uniform Numbers (Black

Dog & Leventhal Publishers). It took

him 14 years to compile this passionate

look at the numbers in the game of

baseball that includes dream teams,

boyhood idols, history, retired numbers,

behind-the-scenes tales, complete ros-

ters, and hundreds of photographs. Jack

and his book were featured on the front

page of the sports section of the Bergen

County Record in August, on ESPN2’s

Cold Pizza in July, and on more than 50

radio shows nationwide.

peter fasano ’72 (AAS) is a wallpaper

and fabric designer with a showroom in

Dallas, whose celebrity clients include

Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart, and Tiger

Woods. He was recently summoned to the

White House by Laura Bush to work on the

wallpaper and upholstery in several

rooms, including the Lincoln and master

bedrooms. His distinctive hand-printed

designs, available only to the design

trade, are carried in 14 showrooms across

the country.

ethel clark smith ’27 (Interior Design).

During her extraordinary 70-year career in

interior design, Smith (with Betty Sherrill

’51, above) created rooms in the White

House, the Ritz Carlton in Boston, and the

Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck,

New York. After studying at the New York

School of Fine and Applied Arts (now

Parsons), Smith worked under the direc-

tion of Eleanor Brown (’20), the legendary

founder of McMillen, Inc. Among Smith’s

clients were Douglas Dillon, George

Abbott, Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy, Doris

Duke, and Marshall Field.

hillary vermont ’72 (AAS) has her own

manufacturing business, Tic Toc Rocks, in

Sante Fe, New Mexico. Inspired by the

beauty of the Southwest, Vermont etches

rocks with ancient motifs and her own

designs, transforming them into afford-

able home accessories including clocks,

coasters, and tables. Previously she

worked for ten years in advertising at large

agencies and CBS Records and then start-

ed her own graphic licensing business,

Hillary Vermont Designs, whose licensees

include MoMA, the Metropolitan Opera,

and the Smithsonian. Contact her via

email at hillaryvermont@hotmail.com,

and visit www.tictocrocks.com and www.




michael chesworth ’86 is a children’s

book illustrator. His most recent work,

Inventor McGregor, follows Rainy Day

Dream (1992), Archibald Frisby (1994) and

Alphaboat (2002), all published by Farrar

Straus & Giroux. For more information,

visit www.crashbangboom.com.

joseph dunn ’01 writes a comic series

about “crappy movies” titled Joe Loves

Crappy Movies. It has been published for

the past year online at www.digital


2 27


charles rutherford ’51 was elected

Life Member of the Interior Designers

Guild, the oldest interior designers group

in Texas.

zoya bograd ’87 and scott sanders

’98 participated in the 2006 Designer

Showhouse of New Jersey, where more

than 20 professionals collaborated to

“create a masterpiece in interior design

and landscaping for a modern-day man-

sion in Saddle River.”

sheila bridges ’93 is currently embark-

ing on a new Internet venture, www.

thenestmaker.com, to keep design-

conscious consumers privy to notable

interior design trends, products, and

resources. She is an accomplished interi-

or designer, perhaps best known for

designing Bill Clinton’s New York offices.

marina shevelev ’95 is co-creator of the

family-run real estate development com-

pany Princeton Development Associates.

She and her husband, Michael Shevelev,

work together, combining her interior

design skills with his woodworking and

business background to create desirable

homes in the Princeton, New Jersey, area.

anna wolcott ’04 works for Sarah Smith

Interiors, Inc.


gina cassese ’06 is working as a graphic

designer for LiveTechnology, a provider of

marketing communications technology

offering an array of online business solu-

tions. Gina has recently designed an

application for voice-over IP communica-

tions geared toward the online gaming


Image Courtesy of Interior Design magazine

paul siskin ’79 (Interior Design) believes

the substance of space and its ability to

function matter as much as its style, and

all should reflect its inhabitants. He

launched the New York–based interior

design firm Siskin Valls in 1984 and was

ranked among the country’s top 100

designers by both New York and House

Beautiful magazines. He was inducted

into the Interior Design magazine Hall of

Fame in November.

“I try to express what my clients want,”

says Siskin. “But often what they want are

design fantasies. One aspect of my job is

to bring them back to reality about the

way they actually live.”


florence klotz ’41 died November 1,

2006, at age 86. Six-time Tony award win-

ner Klotz designed some of Broadway’s

most memorable costumes: The beaded

showgirl togs for Follies, the ornate

Japanese robes of Pacific Overtures, and

the iconic webbed dress worn by Chita

Rivera in Kiss of the Spider Woman.

stuart shedletsky (faculty) died on

May 29, 2006, age 62. Shedletsky was a

beloved and influential member of the

Parsons fine arts faculty for more than 30

years. An artist and curator, he has had

work in numerous solo and group exhibi-

tions and is represented in the permanent

collections of the Whitney Museum of

American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and

the Albright Knox Gallery, among others.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, he studied at

Parsons and the University of New Mexico

before receiving his MFA from Yale.

adrienne “adri” steckling-coen ’58

died November 5, 2006. A sportswear

designer known for clean lines and color-

ful patterns, she began in the studios of

designers including Oleg Cassini and

Anne Fogarty and at retailer B.H. Wragge.

She launched her own collection, Adri

Designs, Inc., in 1966, and created lines

under several different labels, including

Collectors Items and Clothes Circuit. In

1976 she opened Adri Studio Limited on

Seventh Avenue, which is now a private

client, buy-and-order-based company run

from Adri’s loft on West 20th Street. The

studio plans to issue a spring collection.

A memorial service was held at Parsons

on February 9.

donors to parsons

parsons thanks the following

donors for their contributions to

the annual fund in 200 .


The Brown Foundation Inc.

Alice Dorn

Nancy Dorn


David B. Ford

Reed D. Krakoff ’89

Eck Meng Goh


president’s associates

Paul R. Aaron

The Jayne and Leonard Abess Family

Foundation, Inc.

Pamela Bell

Estée Lauder Companies, Inc.

Gubelmann Family Foundation, Inc.

James Gubelmann ’73

Hans-Peter Hamm (P)

Andrew S. and Fatima Ng (P)

Sally Susman

Cora and Douglas Thomas (P)


parsons table society

Cherie and Bruce Burton (P)

Henza and Nuri Colakoglu (P)

The Corita Charitable Trust

Andra B. Ehrenkranz

Fresh Inc.

The Godfrey Family Foundation

Jay Godfrey ’04

Goldman Sachs & Co.

Joseph R. Gromek

Earl S. Kluft (P)

Anand G. and Anuradha Mahindra (P)

Cora ’51 and Clarence Michalis

Alina Roytberg ’84

Franz-Josef and Petra Schwarz (P)

Jessica M. Weber ’66


frank alvah parsons society

Francis H. Abbott (P)

Lucia T. Benton ’00

James Borynack ’67

The Boston Foundation

Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Inc.

Rosalind Cohen ’29

Rosalind G. Cohen Trust

College Central Network Inc.

CRE Fund

Juan Del Rivero (P)

Lucille A. Diorio ’75

Jamie D. Drake ’78

Jeffery and Evie Engler (P)

Marjorie Feeney ’51 and Robert Feeney

Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund

Ann ’76 and Joel Horowitz

Jewish Communal Fund of New York

Jewish Community Foundation

Kei Kin and Stephen Chin Jo (P)

Michele Kahn ’04


Debbie Kuo ’85

Pauline and Robert W. Kwan (P)

Derek Lam ’90

Ki Sang and Sang Eun Lee (P)

Natalie K. Loggins ’95

W. Bruce Lunsford (P)

Mark Mancini ’85

Thomas Milo (P)

Robert Mundheim

Samuel Plimpton and

Wendy Shattuck (P)

Princeton Development Associates

Diane D. and Steven Reynolds (P)

Cathy Weiss Siegal

Jessica Slavin ’09

Sumner A. and Sharon G. Slavin (P)

Margaret Smith ’89

Celina Stabell ’98

Marcy Syms

Sy Syms Foundation

The Teck Foundation

J. Nicholson and Kakuko O. Thomas (P)

Wally Findlay Galleries International, Inc.

Ding Y. Yang (P)

Glenn Yusuf (P)


Anthony Mason Associates, Inc.

Paulette L. Bogan-Johnston ’83

Dolores C. Braxton ’50

Timothy S. Button ’75

John F. Byers IV ’96

Dorothea K. Darden ’97

Barbara D. Etherington ’46

Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund

Janice W. Gewirtz ’78

The Henry B. Plant Memorial Fund, Inc.

Connie and Kevin C. Howe (P)

Linda M. Kane (P)

Barbara M. ’99 and Edward J. Laux

Behna M. Levin

John A. ’75 and Laura F. Lijewski

Robert S. Lu ’79

Ann-Lindsay Marsh (P)

The Marsh Family Trust

Anthony Mason (P)

The Dominic Mondavi Family (P)

Ralph and Sandra D. Owen ’57

Phyllis Oxman ’71

Rosemarie A. Rawson ’85

Danielle Roberts ’88

Timothy Shepard and Andra Georges (P)

Elizabeth A. Terrell ’76

Marshall and Sally K. Tycher (P)

Delores Viarengo ’95

Andrew H. Weigel

Marjorie J. Wright ’82

David Zackin


Jane E. Aaron ’88

Jill Alanko (P)

Barbara Alley-Simon ’58

Jorge Alva ’88

Hanay K. Angell ’90

Atelier Lumiere Inc.

Ellen and Richard Babcock (P)

David C. Barrineau ’97

David B. Barritt ’77

David S. Baskin (P)

Karen W. Baumann ’00

Aldo A. Becci ’49

Laurie Beckelman

Belle Fleur LLC

Thomas Bezucha ’88

Anna Bickford ’88

Bonnie Birnbaum ’77

Bonnie Birnbaum Interiors

Gisa Botbol

Stephanie B. ’58 and F. Bruce Bradshaw

Patricia P. Brett ’92

Elena S. Brown ’00

Kathrin Brown (P)

David C. Burger

Bruce and Berlita Calumpong (P)

Francis and Sandra P. Cannon

Kristin A. Caskey ’87

Katharina E. Castiblanco Grammer ’84

Jack F. Ceglic ’53

Ronnie S. ’53 and Seymour Chalif

Sil K. and Ping Chon (P)

Jee Y. Choung ’64

Yookyung C. Chung ’01

Stanley Church ’63

Terrence Comella ’80

Computer Associates International, Inc.

Leonard R. and Maria Corwin (P)

Rachael B. Cronin ’87

Odette T. de Bruniere ’41

Peter de Seve ’80

Anna M. Deluca ’85

Margaret J. El ’83

Anne T. Elbaqali ’75

June Ellien ‘94

Rochelle G. Etingin ’54

Jose and Tania Fano (P)

Paul A. Farris ’83

Sally J. ’90 and Peter M. Finnican

Daniel and Elizabeth Fitzsimmons (P)

Milco Flores

Linda R. Foa ’64

Barry Folsom and Tracey Stewart (P)

Erica S. Forester

Alyce A. Fountaine ’45

Alfred Geller (P)

Geller Media Management, Inc.

Carl Gewirz

Gabriel W. Gigliotti ‘03

Patrick and Judith Gigliotti (P)

Flora Gill ’02

Gloria Gleason ’52

Engte C. Go (P)

Larry G. Goldstein

Peter Gong ’97

Paul H. Gregory ’92

Mary Louise Guertler ’61

Anne E. Hall ’74 and William Sorin

Young Jo Ham (P)

Gina I. Han (P)

Jennifer S. Harris ’94

Myka J. Harris ’02

Joann P. Hill ’90

Lynn S. Hock ’02

Craig ’74 and Gail L. ’77 Hollenback

Konrad Huber ’93

Hughes Family Rev. Trust Agreement

for Jointly Owned Prop.

Rosemary Hughes ’53

Victoria Hyman ’76

Interior Details, Ltd.

Marilyn Jeffrey

Richard Johnson ’76

Mary L. Kates ’90

Robin K. Kelly ‘96

Erica M. Kim ’03

Sung Sik Kim

Wak Gun and Young Hee Kim (P)

Young Ho Kim and Jae Suk Baek (P)

Katarina Kirilcuk-Kojak ’82

Soteria ’92 and George N. Kledaras

Beatrice Kovich ’75

Paul R. Kuhn ’85

Jessie and Tony Kwan (P)

Helene R. Lanster ’50

Mary N. Lantzounis ’60

Chih-Shan Lee

Doo Young and Chan Kyung Lee (P)

Enid S. Lee ’83

Michael W. Lehr ’87

Joseph R. Lembo ’77

Paul T. and Brenda Liistro (P)

Deanna Littell ’60

Warren Liu

Eugenie Livanos ’95

Mark Loeffler IALD ’90

Mary Ann ’80 and

Salvatore Lomonaco MD

Hector E. Lopez ’87

David C. Lubman ’91

Lynda L. MacDonald ’95

Lisa Maddox ’96

Aila M. Main ’99

Robert B. Mang

Umberto A. Marcucci ’57

Brenda Mason (P)

Emily P. Maxwell ’42

Susan L. McCardell ’47

Cynthia J. McLoughlin ’84

Terry McQuillin ’76

William A. McRobbie ’73

Walter Mehr ’48

John T. Melton ’66

Judith E. Messina

Joel Michalek

James H. Millis Jr. (P)

Elena Miranda ’99

Abigail Moore ’87

Patricia Muhilly ’73

Yoshiye E. Murase ’52

Robert B. Neubecker ’75

Mary C. Newell ’84

Joshua Niedelman ’02

Louis and Anna Niedelman (P)

Debora Nilssen ’68

Kenneth H. Nilssen ’67

James O. Noel ’55

Northwestern Mutual Foundation

Kalman Noselson

Richard Obus ’62*

Candy O’Donel-Browne ’63

Jane B. Oh ’92

Young Cho Ok

Masayoshi N. and Kayoka Osawa (P)

Annabelle R. Osmena ’58

Jo Ellen Panton ’66

Sungyon Park ’97

Susan Parr ’86

Anthony Pellino ASID ’86

Meredith Waga Perez ’91

Jeffrey A. and Nancie Perlowitz ’93

John R. Peterson

James Pickman (P)

Aileen Piffard (P)

Michael J. Pinto ’87

Peter J. Pioli ’69

Mary Pisarkiewicz ’79

Platinum Design

Nataliya Ponomaryova

Richard and Barbara Pool (P)

PVM Designs

Margaret Rather Curlet ’68

Susan Refsnes ’75

Martha B. Reinken ’50


Christian Rodriguez ’05

Elizabeth J. Rosen ’88

Richard A. Rosenfeld ’67

Geoffrey M. Roth ’97

Jacqueline E. Rothman ’91

Valeriy Ryadchikov (P)

Mary E. Sabbatino ’80

Rose Lou T. Saldana (P)

Kathleen D. ’87 and William Samuelson

Laura F. Santisi-Johnson ’76

Carla M. Sardeira ’93

K. J. Sayler ’76

Carole A. Schaffer ’86

John C. Scribner (P)

Jenny Shiu Yen Lee (P)

Harold R. Simmons, Jr. ’65

Robert C. Simon ’66

Trudy Slater ’93

Louisa Smith ’82

Nulsen Smith

Cynthia S. Sobel ’62

Lorna Soh ’05

Ann D. Sole ’83

Sylvia C. Soler Armstrong ’78

Roger D. Soman

Piyada A. Sookdee ’93

Mark Stern ’83

Mary Ellen B. Stottmann ’65

Frances G. Suder ’47

Issac Suder

Kyouichi Takeishi

Kazumi Tanimura ’96

Jo Ann Tansman ’77

Terrence Comella Design Studio

John H. Thomas, Jr. ’74

Hang J. Tsao (P)

Irene N. Vandervoort ’92

Ashleigh Verrier ’04

Verrier LLC

Helene R. Walker ’87

Wallace Church Associates, Inc.

Mary E. Weinmann

Claire S. Werner-O’Brien ’83

Cedric C. and Coleen Whittington

Sharon R. Wilkes ’75

Nan Ruvel and Sheldon Winner (P)

Yiu Tung B. Wong

Lydia B. Yaslow ’74

Suk K. Yim

Chin Y Yu

Mitchell T. Yu (P)

Rebecca L. Zaslow ’88

Gifts of $1–$99 totaled almost $14,000.

Every gift helps and we thank each of you

for your contribution.



P=Parent of a Parsons student

We made every attempt to ensure

this list is as accurate as possible.

If you notice an error, please contact

the Parsons Development Office at

212.229.8590 x4396.

parsons the new school

for design scholarships/



Anderson Scholarship

Robert Hoerle Scholarship

Michael Kalil Endowment

communication design

Joyce DiMauro Memorial Scholarship

Kathy Dunn Memorial Scholarship

Pride K. Leong Scholarship

Willard and Aura Levitas Scholarship

Cipe Pineles Scholarship

Henry Wolf Communication Design


decorative arts

Ruth F. Meyers Weinberg Scholarship

design and management

Robert Hoerle Scholarship


A/X Armani Exchange Scholarship

Perry Ellis CFDA Scholarship

Perry Ellis Estate Scholarship

John Fresco Scholarship

Herbert Gallen Scholarship

Stanley Heller Award for Excellence in

Menswear Design

Melanie Kahane Scholarship

Gene Kahn Scholarship

R.M. Kaplan Scholarship

Adolf Klein Scholarship

Vincent Knoll Scholarship

Carole Little Scholarship

Claire McCardell Scholarship

NAMSB Scholarship

Norman Norell Scholarship

Samuel Brent Robinson Scholarship

Saks Fifth Avenue Scholarship

Isabel and Irving Tolkin Scholarship

David Warren Memorial Scholarship

fine arts

Lester Martin Scholarship

Blanche Sussman Scholarship

fine arts mfa

Chaim Gross Sculpture Scholarship

Oscar Kolin Fellowship

Blanche Sussman Scholarship


Stanley Curtis Scholarship

Mr. & Mrs. F. Burrall Hoffman Scholarship

Berthold and Erna Mechur Scholarship

Laverne Neil Scholarship

Michael Tebbs Nunn

Emergency Loan Fund

Parsons General Scholarship Fund

Charles Paterson Scholarship

Laura and John Pomerantz Scholarship

Natalie Pion Scholarship

Alice Robinson Scholarship

Malcolm and Betty Smith Scholarship

C.V. Starr Scholarship

Myrtle Whitehill Scholarship


Alice Boldt Shifman Memorial


interior design

Anderson Scholarship

Mary Brandt Scholarship

Brunschwig & Fils Scholarships

Tom Fox Scholarship

Adelaide H. Gadde Scholarship

Ruth F. Meyers Weinberg Scholarship


Marty Forscher Photo Award

Photo Award Dinner Scholarship

programmatic support

We would like to acknowledge the

William Randolph Hearst Foundation for

its generous support of the Student

Industry Partnership Program, which

funds stipends to students working with

nonprofit organizations, and the Estate

of Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence for

their dedication to Parsons’ pre-college

program by supporting the Lawrence

Scholars Program, which provides scholarships

for high-school students.

Ling-Zhi Hew

Martina Sencakova

Martina Sencakova

Laura Cheung

katherine bragg is the recipient of both the Tom Fox and the Ruth F. Meyers Weinberg

scholarships. She is involved in Parsons’ Target collaboration, has interned with

Tsao and McKown Architects, and is currently interning with interior designer

Danielle Galland. In December 2006 she received the Rising Star Award at the

Women in Design Award Luncheon.

martina sencakova is the recipient of the Adelaide Gadde Scholarship. She is a junior

studying commercial interior design, and is eyeing a future in the healthcare industry.

laura cheung received the Brunschwig & Fils Scholarship, which allowed her to

study in Paris. She is a senior graduating in May.

Ling-Zhi Hew

Laura Cheung

Katherine Bragg

Katherine Bragg

The Gift of Education

Parsons The New School for Design relies on the generosity

of dedicated individuals and organizations to provide students

with merit- and need-based competitive scholarships to pursue

their educations. The gift of endowed scholarship support is a

wonderful way to have a lasting impression on the lives of stu-

dents and create a legacy that lives on for many years.

In honor of the program’s centennial, we are proud to highlight

the 2006–07 interior design scholarship recipients:

Katherine Bragg: Tom Fox Scholarship and

Ruth F. Meyers Weinberg Scholarship

Alba Contreras: Mary Brandt Scholarship

Martina Sencakova: Adelaide Gadde Scholarship

Laura Cheung: Brunschwig & Fils Scholarship

To learn more about how to make a gift of a scholarship to any

of Parsons’ departments, please contact Lucretia Cavan in the

development office at 212.229.8590 x4218 or


Laura Cheung

We are pleased to announce that two Parsons students were selected to receive the prestigious

full-tuition scholarship supported by the Angelo Donghia Foundation. Schools may submit

only two students for consideration, and out of 80-plus candidates across the country, both of

Parsons’ entrants, paula rodriguez and ling-zhi hew, won.

Katherine Bragg

aLumni spotLigHt

Victoria Hagan ’84

The New School Board of Trustees presents the

Distinguished Service Award to individuals who

have shown exceptional dedication to the uni-

versity. Interior designer and board of governors

member Victoria Hagan (along with four others)

was presented with the award at the President’s

Council reception on October 25, 2006. This is

the citation read in her honor:

Victoria Hagan is an exemplary member of the extended commu-

nity of Parsons The New School for Design. She is someone

whose engagement with the school spans many years and many

roles: she is an alumna of Parsons, a member of the board of

governors, and a generous supporter of the school.

Victoria graduated from Parsons in 1984, in what was then the

environmental design program. She wasted no time making a

mark for herself professionally, and, by 1991, she had started her

own design firm, Victoria Hagan Interiors. Her talent was recog-

nized early on by many and in 1995 New York magazine named

her one of the “10 Top Trend-Setting Designers.” In 2002 she

was cited by Architectural Digest as one of the “AD 100,” the 100

most important and influential interior and architectural design-

ers. Two years later, she was inducted into the Interior Design

Hall of Fame.

Her work as a designer is characterized by a clear understanding

of the relationships of interiors, architecture, fine art, furnish-

ings, and products. Her portfolio includes an impressive range of

residential and commercial interiors, a signature line of home

furnishings, and, most recently, a product line with Target that

has launched her name and her design sensibilities into the

public realm in a whole new, broadly accessible way.

As her success has soared, Victoria has remained committed to

her alma mater, in particular to helping the school continually

build its strengths in interior design studies. Most recently, she

has been a wise and forward-thinking proponent of extending

the interior design curriculum by strengthening its connections

with the architecture and lighting programs. Victoria has also

been an enthusiastic supporter of the Centurion Award event,

which in its first two years celebrated the lives and work of

Parsons alumni Albert Hadley and Betty Sherrill, and brought

new public and media attention to the interior design program.

Beyond her time, good counsel, and enthusiasm, Victoria has

also generously supported Parsons through her financial gifts for

programs, scholarships, and special projects.

For her remarkable dedication to Parsons, for the pride she has

fostered as one of the school’s most distinguished and involved

alumni, and for her commitment to the highest standards of

education at Parsons, The New School is honored to present

Victoria Hagan with the Distinguished Service Award.

Photo by Peter Freed



Jamie Drake ’78

Known for dynamic interiors that are

beautifully bold yet exceptionally livable,

New York-based interior designer Jamie

Drake has created spaces for high-profile

clients around the world. At Parsons he

earned his degree in three years, received

the Decorators Club Award, and interned

with the late Angelo Donghia. Drake was

inducted into the Interior Design Hall of

Fame in 2003, and in 2005 he published

Jamie Drake’s New American Glamour

(Bulfinch Press). He is currently working

on a private foundation’s home in a land-

marked New York City townhouse, a

25,000-square-foot government project,

and a new house in the Hamptons. His

fabric collection for Schumacher launches

this spring.

Photos by Matthew Sussman

what is your best parsons memory?

The excitement of my first day—wearing

a jumpsuit, ready to be a designer and

a New Yorker.

is there one piece of advice you wish

you’d had then? Yes, and that would

have been, don’t go out dancing ’til the

wee hours the night before deadlines.

what was your first job after

college? I started my own firm right

away. Literally, two days after graduation

I got a call asking me if I would take on

the design of two apartments in the

same building for a friend and his father.

what’s the best part of your job

now? My favorite part is truly getting to

know my clients, then finding the solu-

tions that express their personalities.

what did your mother want you to

be when you grew up? A lawyer, doctor,

or architect. I guess I ended up fulfilling

all three in a way.

when did you know that you wanted

to be an interior designer? I first

knew it was my calling when I was about

six. I was in charge of decorating and

antiques for the backyard fort I had built

with my best friend.

if you hadn’t taken up interior

design, what would you have been?

A criminal trial lawyer, either defense

or prosecution. Think Law and Order.

what do you think is the most

exciting trend in your field today?

New materials and technological

advances are the industry trends that

most excite and fascinate me.

what is your most marked charac-

teristic? Optimism. My glass is always

half full. And forgiveness; I can have a

meltdown, but get over it in 15 minutes.

what’s your current obsession?

Creating a new baroque vocabulary. I am

fascinated with voluptuous forms, from

the 17th century to the 1940s, and how to

transform those into a modern language.

what’s the last book you read?

The Beautiful Fall, a fantastic read about

the rivalry between Yves St. Laurent and

Karl Lagerfeld.

who would you invite to your ideal

dinner party? I’d fill my table with

Louis Kahn, Charles de Bestegui, Marie

Antoinette, Busby Berkeley, Mahatma

Gandhi, Beau Brummel, Faye Dunaway,

and Nostradamus.

if you could re-imagine any space in

the world, which one would it be?

The White House, politically, as the inte-

rior is quite beautiful.

what is your favorite red thing?

A searing hot summer sunset sky.

parsons tHe new scHooL for design

66 fiftH avenue

new york, ny 10011

nonprofit org

u.s. postage paid

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