Posted on Monday, December 07, 2020

Architect and Educator David Foley Named Chair of Interior Design Department

David Foley has been named chair of Pratt Institute’s Interior Design Department. Foley, who assumed the role on December 1, 2020, has led the Interior Design Department as acting chair since July 2019.

David Foley has been named chair of Pratt Institute’s Interior Design Department. Foley, who assumed the role on December 1, 2020, has led the Interior Design Department as acting chair since July 2019.

“David has done a remarkable job leading the department since he began his term as Acting Chair in the summer of 2019,” said Anita Cooney, dean of the School of Design. “We are so pleased to have him continue to build the Interior Design Department’s strong reputation with an important focus on smart, socially-responsible and environmentally conscious design.”

As chair, Foley will continue to lead Pratt’s Interior Design Department, which includes approximately 350 students and 80 faculty. The department’s undergraduate and graduate programs are among the highest ranked in the country.

“After 18 months steering the department forward, through the onset of and response to the pandemic, the protests for racial justice, and an unprecedented unease in the political sphere, I look forward to continuing the work with an extraordinary faculty to deliver excellence in the discipline and the profession,” Foley said. “We have the responsibility to seize this moment and examine pedagogy to ensure that the remarkable environments that will be created by the interior designers we send out into the world are safe, accessible, and equitable places of belonging for all in our diverse community.” 

Foley has been an adjunct professor in the Interior Design Department at Pratt since 2009. During this time, he has taught design studios, theory, and color and materials in both the BFA and MS/MFA programs. Other teaching engagements have included the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture in South Bend, Indiana, and in Rome, Italy; and Andrews University Department of Architecture in Berrien Springs, Michigan.  

In practice, he has lived and worked throughout the Midwest United States, in Italy, and in India. With colleagues from graduate school in Chicago, he founded The Architecture Gallery, an itinerant and alternative Fluxus-inspired venue for mail-art architects. He spent 12 years as supervising architect and director of real estate for the Prada Group in North America, designing over 150 shop venues in the US and Canada; coordinating efforts between the Prada Group and its design architects OMA, Herzog + de Meuron, and SANAA; as well as projects between Helmut Lang and Jenny Holzer, Fondazione Prada, and Elmgreen and Dragset; and others. As director of interiors for studio u+a (New York, London, Gurugram), he led a team of architects and interior designers on the design of residential and commercial projects in New Delhi and Bengaluru, India, including the City View Retail complex for the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences in Bengaluru. Foley’s current practice and research focuses on “de minimus” interventions in residential interiors, marking the landscape as a threshold to the interior, and an examination of the conditions of incarceration and the prison industrial complex.

His recent publications include the essay “Spatial Expansion during Quarantine,” Essay 14, An Appraisal, At Present, edited by Into Praxis (2020) and “Turning Inward: Alexander Pope’s Memorial Garden,” Chapter 9, Interior Provocations: History, Theory, and Practice of Autonomous Interiors, edited by Anca I. Lasc, Deborah Schneiderman, Keena Suh, Karin Tehve, Alexa Griffith Winton, Karyn Zieve; (2021).

Foley holds an MArch from the University of Illinois at Chicago, an MArch in Urban Design from the University of Notre Dame, and a BA in Architectural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.