10 February 2010
Pratt Mourns the Loss of Longtime ID Professor Leonard “Lenny” Bacich
The Institute mourns the loss of Leonard "Lenny" Bacich, a longtime professor of industrial design who died on February 3 at age 67. Lenny was popular among generations of students he taught in 3-D design courses and graduated from the Institute with a bachelor's degree in industrial design in 1963 and a master's degree in industrial design in 1971. He was also a former faculty trustee.
Lenny was among the most admired industrial design educators in the country in 2006, according to monthly architecture and design journal DesignIntelligence. A student of influential design educator Rowena Reed Kostellow, Lenny continued teaching her design principles as coordinator of the 3-D design curriculum. His 3-D design courses introduced first, second, and third year students to the materials, techniques, and ideas that comprise the three-dimensional world of "made" objects and natural forms through the exploration of basic abstract components such as plane, mass, and space.
Lenny initiated Pratt's exchange program with Bauhaus University in Wiemar, Germany in 2004, which offers students from communications design, fine arts, industrial design, and digital arts disciplines the chance to study abroad in the spring. As part of the program, Pratt welcomes exchange students from Bauhaus each fall. Lenny was on sabbatical in spring 2009 to teach at Bauhaus and participate in the school's commemoration of its 90th anniversary celebration.
Lenny epitomized the rigor and magic of great teaching. He taught our most esoteric abstract courses and simultaneously created an understanding in his students of the value their individual creative life.
A memorial service is planned, with details to follow at a later time. Those wishing to make contributions in Bacich's name can send them to the attention of Lenora Hallums in North Hall 219 and designate them for Pratt's Rowena Reed Kostellow (RRK) Fund. For more information on the RRK Fund, please call 718.399.4296.