Eric Cohler ’81 was recently featured on the season finale of “Selling New York” on HGTV. Cohler was hired by real estate agent Michele Kleier to design a $28.5 million, full-floor apartment on Fifth Avenue in the historic building that was once the Stanhope Hotel. Cohler has his own design firm, Eric Cohler Design, Inc., located in New York City, which specializes in interior design and restoration.
Industry magazine editors have dubbed Cohler the “Mixmaster” for his use of contemporary materials juxtaposed with classical elements. Since establishing his firm in 1991, House Beautiful has described him as one of the 14 “best of the best” in the “next wave of designers in America,” and he is included annually in their “Top 100” issue.
His aesthetic is sought after for the country’s top showhouses, including the Kips Bay and Hampton Designer Showhouses. Cohler’s work often appears in leading domestic and international periodicals, books, and design television shows. Interior design manufacturers have taken notice of Cohler’s distinctive design aesthetic, with Visual Comfort carrying his lighting designs, and Lee Jofa premiering a Cohler fabric collection in September 2006. Cohler was recently named to the top 10 designer list in the U.S. by Elle Décor, and had his design and fabric selected by President Barack and Mrs. Michelle Obama for the White House dining room.
The full episode can be seen online.
Cohler earned his B.A. in English and art history from Hobart in 1981. He holds a master’s degree in historic preservation from the Columbia University School of Architecture and Urban Design, and a certificate from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He has been named as an Ambassador of Arts and Spirituality to the United Nations, and delivered the address as the keynote speaker of the G 20 in Seoul where he spoke about empowerment through art in third world countries.
At HWS, the Eric Cohler Internship and Travel Award which Cohler established annually supports one student interested in design and/or the arts through internship and study abroad experiences. Through off-campus study, recipients of the award gain valuable insight into the world of architecture and a look at the wide range of career opportunities available.
This past April, he returned to HWS to give a series of seminars for art and architecture students as well as a public lecture on his work and design philosophy.