Joan Blumenfeld

Principal, Corporate Interiors, New York

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.

fun fact about joan
A New Yorker through and through, Joan is a design force globally, but has never forgotten her roots. She has contributed to over 50 built works in the greater New York area, more than 40 of which are in Manhattan. Her work has won 40-plus awards in the past five years alone.
Joan’s continued advocacy in sustainable design, diversity in our newest generations of designers, and award-winning design led her to be named Contract Magazine’s Design Legend in 2018.
A sketch of Rome from Joan's personal collection.
“The first step in changing things is for people to be aware that there is something that needs to be changed.”

Joan's Featured Work

Unilever's North American Headquarters
Unilever North American Headquarters
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
New York City Police Academy
Queens, New York
Swarovski New York Showroom and Office
New York, New York
Häfele New York Showroom
New York, New York
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Laboratory Medicine Building
New York, New York