The New School Archives Digital Collections

Radical Shifts: Reshaping the Interior at Parsons (1955-1985) oral history project ➔ Audio interview with Luis Rey

Digital Audio

Related people/organizations

Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Design Archives Parsons the New School for Design (publisher)
Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Design Archives Parsons the New School for Design (producer)
Parsons School of Design. Environmental and Interior Design Department (subject)
Joanna Merwood-Salisbury (interviewer)
Luis A. Rey (interviewee)


October 6 2010


Interviewed by Joanna Merwood-Salisbury at his office at McMillen, Inc., Rey discusses his background, his move from Peru to New York City in 1962, discovering his talent in interior design, and finding his way to Parsons School of Design. Rey recalls the confusion that stemmed from his attending Parsons during the moment when its interior design program was transitioning from the traditional curriculum epitomized by the teaching of Stanley Barrows, to the more socially engaged, experimental course of study promoted by director Jim Howell. Looking at it in retrospect, Rey now feels he benefitted from being exposed to both programs and perspectives. Rey goes on to describe his post-Parsons career, commenting upon ways that the school did and did not prepare him for the realities of interior design work. He describes a shortlived professional partnership formed with fellow Parsons graduates, and the process by which he was eventually brought to McMillen, Inc. by Eleanor Brown, the firm's founder and a Parsons alumna who played an important role in the early interior design program at Parsons.





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