ID Connections

IDC mourns the loss of Eric Engstrom, FIIDA

Published by Candis Green, June 26, 2013.

It is with heavy hearts that we inform you of the passing of IIDA Past-President Eric Engstrom, FIIDA. Eric passed away on Friday, June 15, after a long battle with cancer. The 70-year-old award-winning graphic and interior designer, founder of EDG Interior Architecture + Design, fine artist, photographer and writer died at his home in Fairfax, California,  surrounded by his family. He is survived by his son, Lars Engstrom, his daughter, Kate Engstrom, and his sister, Anne Verre.

“We are immensely saddened by Eric’s passing, but we take comfort in the fact that he lived an extraordinarily rich life full of family, friends and his passionate pursuits of art and Design,” IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP, said. “A little less than a month ago we were able to honor Eric and celebrate his life and work in the hospitality industry during the HD show in Las Vegas. Though very ill at the time, Eric was able to make the trip and thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the IIDA/HD Product Design Competition. The Best of Competition for that award was renamed the Eric Engstrom Best of Competition Award.”

Born July 9, 1942 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Eric’s parallel art and design careers got their start with his receiving a BFA in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design, followed by graduate studies in art and Design at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. A spirit of the ’60s, Eric worked as a graphic designer for museums, rock promoters and architects in the Boston area. Eventually, a passion for Interior Design with graphic flair took hold, and after a number of years working with various architects, he founded Engstrom Design Group in 1987, in Marin County, Calif.

For the next 20 years, Eric and business partner Jennifer Johanson, IIDA, developed their acclaimed firm with restaurant and hospitality projects worldwide. He was honored throughout his career, having served as International President of IIDA as well as being named an IIDA Fellow, in addition to being a member of the Hospitality Design Magazine Platinum Circle.

Eric was also a frequent presence at IIDEX Canada, having participated on a restaurant design with Yabu Pushelberg and restaurant owners. 

Eric retired in 2007 to devote full time to his artistic pursuits, photography, travel and writing, but he was never far from the world of Design. He and his creative spirit will be greatly missed.

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