In the world of design, the name Joan Blumenfeld draws instant recognition. Her decades-long commitment to excellence, advocacy, and wellness have left a lasting impression on the industry.
Joan never meant to be an architect. She graduated with a degree in philosophical psychology after being talked out of pursuing fine arts. As she made several unsatisfying career moves, a simple poignant comment by her father reminded Joan of her strengths in math and artistry, and she realized that architecture was the perfect platform to showcase both her creative and analytical skills.
After graduating from Harvard GSD with a masters in architecture, Joan was determined to channel her energy into the conception of impactful, beautiful, humane spaces and buildings. Her concentration on interior design gave her a clear and direct path to improving people’s lives directly through their environmental experiences at work and school, and eventually led to her contributing to the development and rollout of Fitwel, a health and wellness rating system for spaces.
She has been the design advisor for the NYC Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and the GSA on various initiatives and standards, and has spoken and written extensively on how physical design can contribute to the health of the planet and its inhabitants. Through her work with the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation she has used her voice to speak up for equity and diversity in the construction and design industries.
For the quality of her award-winning work, her focus on social responsibility, and her mentorship of young design professionals, Joan was named Contract Magazine’s Design Legend in 2018, securing her legacy in the profession.