Eric O’Toole has been appointed the new assistant dean within Pratt Institute’s School of Design. He assumed the role on July 1, 2022. O’Toole previously served as the acting assistant dean from January through June of this year and is an associate professor in the Graduate Communications Design Department where he was the Program Coordinator for the Master of Science (MS) in Packaging, Identities, and Systems Design.
Reporting to School of Design Dean Anita Cooney, O’Toole will work across all the school’s departments, including Communications Design, Fashion, Foundation, Industrial Design, and Interior Design.
“I am very honored to have the opportunity to serve the Pratt community in this new role,” O’Toole said. “I am looking forward to working closely with students, friends, and colleagues from across the Institute and beyond to continue to advance the important work that we do here at Pratt. This includes but is by no means limited to educating the next generation of design leaders who will, in turn, shape a better world for us all.”
O’Toole’s professional and academic career has concentrated on learning through the language and practice of design. He began his time at Pratt as an undergraduate industrial design student, earning a Bachelor of Industrial Design. He later received an MFA in Interactive Digital Arts from the Institute. In 1993, he joined Pratt as a visiting assistant professor and since then has spent over 20 years teaching at the graduate level and serving in a variety of faculty and leadership roles.
Much of his professional career has involved interactive exhibition design, from work with major museums to designs for national parks. In the 1990s, he started his own exhibition design firm after extensive experience as an on-staff exhibition designer at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. His designs include exhibitions for cultural and historical institutions throughout the country, including the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, National Museum of the American Indian, Crater Lake National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, Brooklyn Historical Society, and the George Washington Carver National Monument. These designs feature media-rich environments with compelling narratives to engage and inform visitors.