Harlan Emil Gruber

(b. Jan. 14, 1959, NY) has combined his interest in science and art to shape a respected design career. A student of Physics at Emory University and of Electrical Engineering at University of Miami and Georgia Tech, Harlan Emil subsequently received a degree in the field of Environmental Design from Parson School of Design, New York (1985). Immediately following the completion of his studies, Mr. Gruber joined the design firm SITE Projects of New York before launching his independent career in 1987. He has become highly regarded for his sculpture, furniture design, interior retail design, and for his continuing study of designs for future habitats.

Harlan Emil’s work has been published internationally, including Interni of Italy, Pronto of Japan, The Face of U.K., and Progressive Architecture in the United States, and is featured in the book New York: Nomadic Design.

His work has been exhibited at New York’s prestigious gallery Art et Industrie, Knoll Furniture Showroom, The Clodagh Center for American Design, Hokin-Kaufman Gallery of Chicago, Hampton Square Gallery of Westhampton Beach, NY, All Points, Shipley and Fenix galleries in Taos, New Mexico and the Donkey Gallery in Albuquerque, NM.

Harlan Emil was the founder of Pluto Dog, Inc. (1988-1993), which produced his designs including the Saturn Table Series, the Levity Series, and the Cyberunit. He designed the first three retail stores for the clothing company 555 Soul (1991-1996) and the bar Openair (2001), both in New York City. His artistic endeavors include the ongoing series of sculpture installations titled Bundles, a sound sculpture project titled Quasar Wave Transducer, a series of kinetic sculpture works titled A/FX Spirals, and a multimedia installation inspired by his personal interests in drag racing and spiritual teachings called The Circle of Burning Fuel.

In 1996 Harlan Emil moved to Taos, New Mexico, while still returning part time to his home in New York. He has been attending the Burning Man festival in Nevada since 1999 and has created a series of bicycles for it called Playacycles. He has also created large scale sculptures for it: the Mutant Vehicle Labyrinth in 2003 and since 2004, the series of Portals installations that this website is all about. He built the first four Portals in Taos, NM. He relocated to California in 2010, where he has been bringing these installations to many other festivals on the west coast and around the world, including the UK, Portugal, Costa Rica, Mexico and Australia.