Kotaro Nakamura

Kotaro Nakamura AIA, LEEDAP

Chair, Interior Design
Interior Design
Professor, Interior Design

Signature Research Areas



Campus Office: 156E Design

Mailing Address
Interior Design Department
158 College of Design
Ames, IA, 50011


Bachelor of Science, Environmental Engineering --1977

Master of Arts, Art/Environmental Design --1980


Research Interests

Kotaro Nakamura is a professor and Chair of the Interior Design Department at ISU. He also has 40 years of architectural and interior design practice as a principal of Roesling Nakamura Terada (RNT) Architects. His research focuses on the well-being of people and the environment to increase their resilience. He is a recipient of multiple AIA Design Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from San Diego AIA in 2023. 

His design practice and research interests focus on promoting community engagement and development. Some notable projects include the Japanese Friendship Garden Pavilion and Botanical Building historical preservation at Balboa Park in San Diego and the reconstruction of the School for the Deaf in Riverside. These projects seek to improve the experience of users and the surrounding community by providing spaces for activities and engagement that promote a stronger sense of community.

He is a licensed architect in California and a Leadership in Energy and Environment Accredited Professional (LEED AP). He has an Engineering Degree from Kanto Gakuin University in Japan and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Design from SDSU.