Zeke Leonard

School of Design

Associate Director, School of Design
Coordinator, First-Year Experience


4th floor, The Nancy Cantor Warehouse
350 West Fayette Street
Syracuse, NY 13202


Zeke Leonard is an associate professor in the School of Design. He is also the associate director of the School of Design, a member of the environmental and interior design faculty and coordinator of the School of Design’s first-year experience.

Leonard’s research involves the role of social responsibility and environmental stewardship in contextually relevant design and fabrication practices. He regularly partners with community groups and organizations to find ways to put local resources to better use.

Leonard’s ongoing project, Salt City Found-Object Instrument Works, mobilizes his community-based sustainability efforts through interactive musical objects and installations. This project has run the gamut from client-based instrument building to playing a cigar-box guitar on stage at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, in partnership with various communities, he has designed and installed structure-sized musical instruments in both indoor and outdoor venues in Syracuse.

Leonard has written about his research-based design practices in the forthcoming book The Interior Architecture Theory Reader (Routledge, Gregory Marinic, Ed.) and has recently presented at the Material Studies conference at the Mackintosh School of Art in Glasgow. His work is part of the collections of the South Street Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut, and the Worker’s Arts and Heritage Centre in Hamilton, Ontario. He previously taught at the Rhode Island School of Design and New York University and is a regular visiting instructor at institutions including the Haystack Mountain School of Craft and the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Leonard holds an M.F.A. in furniture design from the Rhode Island School of Design and a B.F.A. in set design from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.


  • M.F.A., Rhode Island School of Design
  • B.F.A., North Carolina School of the Arts