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Papanek, Victor

Carroll Gantz
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Victor Papanek image

Designer, anthropologist, writer, and teacher, Victor Papanek was born in Vienna, Austria and arrived in the U.S. in 1932. He graduated in 1948 in architecture and industrial design from the Cooper Union in New York City, and studied at M.I.T. and under Frank Lloyd Wright. He opened his own consulting office in 1953. He became Dean of the School of Design at the California Institute of the Arts, and in the early 1970s became Chairman of Design at the Kansas City, (Mo.) Art Institute. He wrote a number of design-related books, including Design for the Real World, (1972), Nomadic Furniture (1973), Nomadic Furniture Two, (1974), How Things Don't Work, (1977), Design For Human Scale (1983) and Viewing the World Whole (1983). From 1981, Professor Papanek taught architecture and design at the University of Kansas. As a member of design societies throughout the world, he transcended national and cultural barriers, and his books have been translated into many languages. His primary concern was using appropriate design for third-world countries. His designs included a 9¢ radio receiver for Indonesia, an irrigation pump made from castoff rubber tires for Africa, and a Peter Rabbit storybook printed on cuddly cloth for American children. At its 1999 conference in Chicago, Ill., IDSA posthumously honored Professor Papanek with its Personal Recognition Award for his 35 years of contributions to the design profession.

100 Years of Design consists of excerpts from a book by Carroll M. Gantz, FIDSA, entitled, Design Chronicles: Significant Mass-produced Designs of the 20th Century, published August 2005 by Schiffer Publications, Ltd.
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