Eric Keune

Principal, Design Director, Boston

Eric has an unconventional stance on design: truly new ideas are tremendously rare. Hear him out—he’s not one to abandon innovation and creativity. Instead, Eric sees our shared past as a rich source of valuable lessons. It’s no surprise, then, that he’s an accomplished architectural historian, having authored Paffard Keatinge-Clay: Modern Architecture/Modern Masters and co-authored 100 Buildings Every Architect Should Know. Informed by this broad historical knowledge, Eric’s work exists at the intersection of design, architectural history, contemporary visual arts, and state-of-the-art building technology. And, despite dozens of design awards and international acclaim, his metrics for success are simple: impact people’s lives, improve the environment, and transform contemporary society—to the benefit of all.

A self-proclaimed disciple and teacher of Modernism, Eric serves on the United States board of DocoMoMo, an international advocacy group focused on works of the Modern movement. Outside the studio, he’s a father, collector of antique modern furniture, and classic car enthusiast.

On the Relationship of Art and Architecture
"Architects often romanticize the discipline of art.

Artists are called upon to create things that typically don’t have to keep the water out, or even stand up. If they fail, they generally won’t injure someone. Architecture as a discipline is consistently admiring and, perhaps, a little bit jealous of art because it must confront issues of reality that art, typically, does not. And as a result, artists are able to create and exist within a fantasy world of their own creation.

When Architecture is able to work alongside Art, one is able to step into that fantasy world for a brief moment—and this is what interests me.”

Fascinated by the many unsung, yet profoundly interesting, architects in modern history, Eric was inspired to research and write about the surprising and uniquely memorable career of Paffard Keatinge-Clay.
Photograph by Steve Hall, courtesy of Hedrich Blessing
Fun Fact
Eric inherited a love for classic modern furniture from his father.

So when he set out to renovate his 1970s Gold Coast apartment, he filled it with treasured pieces collected over the years. The passion project ultimately piqued the interest of several design publications and garnered media attention that caught Eric completely by surprise.

Read more.

Photograph by Steve Hall, courtesy of Hedrich Blessing
A passionate devotee of Modernism, Eric is a member of the United States Board of DocoMoMo, the advocady organization dedicated to works of the Modern movement.
Design Philosophy
Changing the lines of a poem is to change its meaning. Impactful designs allow no single element to be removed without negating or undermining their intrinsic meaning. Put another way: design is not a process of continual addition, but one of continual subtraction until only a project’s distilled essence remains.