Long before turning his attention to architecture, David Rockwell harbored a fascination with immersive environments. Growing up in the United States and Guadalajara, Mexico, David was a child of the theater, and was often cast in community repertory productions by his mother, a vaudeville dancer and choreographer. He has brought his passion for theater and artistic eye for the color and spectacle of Mexico to his practice.
David founded Rockwell Group in 1984, a 150-person award winning, cross-disciplinary architecture and design practice based in New York City with satellite offices in Madrid and Shanghai. Inspired by theater, technology, and high-end craft, the firm creates a unique narrative for each project, ranging from restaurants, hotels, airport terminals, and hospitals, to festivals, museum exhibitions, and Broadway sets.
David’s honors include the 2008 National Design Award by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum for outstanding achievement in Interior Design; the 2009 Pratt Legends Award; the Presidential Design Award for his renovation of the Grand Central Terminal; induction into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America and Interior Design magazine’s Hall of Fame; inclusion in Architectural Digest’s AD 100; three Tony Award nominations for Best Scenic Design; and four Drama Desk Award nominations for Outstanding Scenic Design of a Musical. Rockwell Group was named by Fast Company as one of the most innovative design practices in their annual World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies issue.
Known for his commitment to charitable organizations, David currently serves as Chair Emeritus of the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) and as a board member of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum and Citymeals-on-Wheels.
David was trained in architecture at Syracuse University and the Architectural Association in London.