— by Meg Wolensky, Continuing Education Program Manager

Drawing for Interiors is one of the most popular introductory classes for Moore's adult Interior Design certificate students in the Continuing Education program. Adjunct faculty member Clem Cizewski teaches the class. He is a semi-retired East Coast architectural illustrator, producing designs in Boston, Washington DC and Philadelphia from 1986-2020. He completed his BA in fine arts and architecture at the University of Pennsylvania in 1975, and worked as an architectural draftsperson in Philadelphia from 1975-1977.

In addition to his time at Moore, Cizewski has instructed countless students as an adjunct at the University of Louisville, Harvard Graduate School of DesignArcadia University and Harcum College. He is also the manager of the café at Neiman Marcus in King of Prussia.

He talked with Continuing Education Program Manager Meg Wolensky.

Who are you as a professional in your field?

My works are mechanically derived by the plan projection method of perspective, dating back to the Italian Renaissance. I work with ink on Mylar, creating a unique original.  From this, I generate a presentation print on paper using marker, color pencil and airbrush. My clients are architects, designers and developers. In my career, I have generated almost 2,000 drawings.

What brought you to Philadelphia?

I went to school in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania and worked in the field of architecture for two years. There was very little work in Philadelphia at the time, as there was a deep recession. I found myself in the restaurant industry and gave up on architecture. Nine years later in Boston I tried to get back into architecture, but found that I would have to start again at the bottom. I took employment with an architectural rendering company and my career was born. I have been working on my own since 1989.

In 1990 I took a position as a restaurant manager in Tyson's Corner, McClain, VA.  I then transferred to open a restaurant in Los Angeles and finally came back to Philadelphia to open a restaurant in Center City. In 1997, I retired from the restaurant industry and worked full time on rendering.

What have you been feeling inspired by?

My inspiration is the drawings of Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Furness, with a little Louis Kahn thrown in.

What’s your biggest creative career achievement?

My greatest career achievement was generating the drawings in 2001 for the six presentations of the "Revitalization of the Parkway," in conjunction with the late David Slovic. Unfortunately, the projects were all rejected because each of them required the removal of some of the Art Museum's stairs to create a plaza with the river drives relocated below grade.

What do you love about working for Moore College of Art & Design?

What I love most about teaching at Moore is that I have the opportunity to take the student that is intimidated by drawing and give them the confidence to make marks on paper that communicate an idea as they learn to "see" their environment truly for the first time. 

So far, what’s exceeded your expectations when working with the students in Moore’s CE program?           

What has exceeded my expectations is that in 30 hours over 10 weeks, the design novice can learn to communicate, nonverbally, an idea by drawing.