Ziva S. Gruber was born in Jerusalem, Israel. Her parents encouraged her to pursue a career in either medicine or law. To that end she studied chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. However, in 1960 Ziva moved to New York to pursue her studies in interior design at Parsons School of Design. In 1965, Ziva took a job with an architectural firm where she learned technical drafting. In 1968, she moved to Ford and Earl Design Associates: a firm at which she would work for the next eight years. During this period Ziva participated in critiques at Parsons.
In 1971, the Friends of Central Park Zoo approached Ford and Earl to redesign the zoo pro bono. Ziva brought the project to Parsons and worked as a voluntary instructor and liaison between Ed Frank and Tom Gould (Parsons faculty) and the firm. “The Central Park Redevelopment Study” was completed by nineteen students as their senior project, and was Parsons’ first community design workshop.
Between 1977 and 1982, Gruber worked as a designer at a number of firms: Daroff Design, Fulton & Partners, Luss / Kaplan & Associates, and Stanley Felderman Ltd. After 1982, Ziva worked as a private contractor for high end residential buildings and speciality shops, until her retirement in 2011.
Parsons School of Design oral history program