Robert Allen brings a unique multi-disciplinary perspective to NYIT, reflecting his long-standing interest in the convergence of various design disciplines. A Harvard-trained architect, he is founding partner of Metalhouse, a firm that specializes in product, graphic, architecture, and interior design.
Allen has served as acting chair and coordinator Department of Interior Design for the past 10 years. At NYIT-Long Island, he teaches the first-year, thesis, and furniture design studios for student architects and interior designers. He encourages them to imagine new ways to utilize their respective orientations and explore unorthodox solutions to everyday problems. His work on "micro-environments" enabled students to explore the utilization of "smart" materials and multi-functional configurations for NYIT's entries in the 2005, 2007, and 2011 international Solar Decathlon (sponsored by the U.S Department of Energy). This effort was the first to suggest furniture be factored into the overall energy equation for homes, and was featured in the Museum of Arts & Design's show, Beyond Green, Towards a Sustainable Art, as well as at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair and Milan Furniture Fair.
Recent undertakings at the furniture design studios include proposals for urban sidewalk furniture for Department of Transportation sites that apply principles of interior design as well as proposed sidewalk sanctuaries for pedestrians. Over the years, students from this class have been awarded four Donghia Foundation $30,000 scholarships.
Prior to Metalhouse, Allen served as vice president and design director of vSG Architects (now Perkins Eastman Interiors), president of Swiss corporate identity firm Zintzmeyer & Lux, NA (overseeing the launch of the BMW 3-Series in the NA), and designer in New York architectural offices SOM, BRB, David Anthony Easton, and others. His architecture as well as interior and furniture design work has won several international awards. His Tablet and Caucus platforms for Geiger/Herman Miller has earned industry recognition, including American Institute of Architects and International Interior Design Association awards. In addition, Allen frequently consults and writes for prominent trade publications, providing critical coverage for major design efforts worldwide.