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Robert Rabinovitz design papers

Identifier: KA-0103-01


Collection documents designer, artist and Parsons School of Design teacher Robert Rabinovitz's projects from his undergraduate education at Philadelphia College of Art through his first New York collection, Spring + Crosby, and a series of poetry books produced in collaboration with students. Includes portfolios, plans and drawings, and book dummies, embodying various stages in the design process.


  • 1978-2015



1.4 Cubic Feet (2 boxes, 1 oversize box, 1 map case folder)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

Collection consists of materials documenting designer and artist Robert Rabinovitz's work from his undergraduate education through his professional career.

A substantial portfolio from Rabinovitz's time as a student at Philadelphia College of Art shows a range of design projects including products and packaging for copier machines, insulin injectors, and toys to corporate and exhibition design. Also in the portfolio are freelance logo and stationery projects done for corporate clients during his sophomore and junior years. Media used in the portfolio includes Prismacolor marker, paint, collage, and tracing paper over Pantone paper. Objects in the portfolio include photographs, drawings, plans, stationery samples, and written commentary from one of his instructors.

Plans and presentation drawings document Rabinovitz's design of a reception/security desk for the president of the College for Creative Studies, executed while Rabinovitz was a faculty member there.

Rabinovitz's collection, Spring + Crosby, consists of his design work after moving to New York City. It is represented in the collection by one of five books he produced as well as associated materials. According to Rabinovitz, Parsons School of Design students illustrated the book and materials for all prototypes were locally sourced.

The collection also includes a set of three books of Rabinovitz's poetry, all designed by students in the Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) program at Parsons School of Design. The books are represented by three dummies and one hardcover book. Brendan Dunne designed the first book in 2012, Chloe Kolsen worked on the second and third during the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 semesters, and during the Spring and Summer semesters of 2015, Harrison Bailey edited and worked on printing less expensive versions of all three volumes. As of 2018, also included are new and updated versions of all three books with title pages of all poems now included.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. Please contact for appointment.

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact:

Biographical Note

Robert Rabinovitz received his BS in Industrial Design from Philadelphia College of Art (as of 1985, University of the Arts) in 1982. After a decade working as a professional designer, he returned to school to pursue his MFA in design from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. He graduated from Cranbrook in 1992 and later that year began teaching industrial design at the University of Wisconsin, Stout. From September 1997 until August 1998, Rabinovitz studied sculpture in the MFA program of the Pennsylvia Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia before joining the industrial design faculty of the College of Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit. At CCS, he served as section chair for the school's furniture program for four years and as interim industrial design department chair for one year.

In September 2002, Rabinovitz moved to New York and began teaching at Parsons School of Design. Between 2002 and 2007, he taught a variety of BFA Studio and Portfolio classes in the Product Design Department in the School of Constructed Environments, courses in the First Year Foundation Department and the Summer SPACE intensive courses and program. Since 2007, he has been full time faculty in the School of Design Strategies (SDS) where he developed the first Senior Portfolio course for all students of SDS in the BFA Integrated Design and the BBA Strategic Design and Management program. As of 2018, he continues to teach in other schools, including Product Design studio courses in the BFA School of Fashion, the First Year Space Materiality program in the School of Art, Design, History and Theory, and a variety of studio classes in the BBA Strategic Design and Management program and BFA Integrated Design programs. Between 2002 and 2007, Rabinovitz taught a variety of Product Design Studio courses and year-long Senior Portfolio course at Pratt Institute.

As an educator and a design consultant since leaving Cranbrook Academy of Art, Rabinovitz launched his own design studio, Spring + Crosby, named after the location of his studio at Spring and Crosby Streets in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan. He exhibited this collection at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (known as ICFF) that year, and, as of 2018, continues to pursue the development and production of ideas related to the works developed from Spring + Crosby as they relate to experiential and interactive art and design.

In 2012, Rabinovitz returned to further his career and studies following a life threatening brain seizure and brain surgery in 2007. He received his MA in film and screenwriting from The New School of Media Studies in 2015. He received international attention for his short film, Maybe Me, and feature length screenplay co-written with Amos Poe, The Seizure.


Rabinovitz, Robert. "Spring + Crosby." Accessed June 29, 2018.

The New School. "Robert Rabinovitz." Accessed June 29, 2018.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Robert Rabinovitz, 2016.


The New School Archives expects to add materials to this collection.

Related Materials

A collection of Rabinovitz's students' work from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, College for Creative Studies, Parsons School of Design and the Pratt Institute is also available in The New School Archives (PC.02.09.01).

Robert Rabinovitz design papers, 1980-2015
New School Archives and Special Collections staff
July 31, 2018
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