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Goldberg, Robert I.

Carroll Gantz, FIDSA
Birth/Death Age: 
1919-ca. 2009?

     U.S. industrial designer born in Brooklyn, NY, who attended special art classes from elementary through high school, graduating from Boy’s High School, Brooklyn, in 1937. He then received a B.A. in Fine Arts at Brooklyn College, and then a certificate in mechanical engineering at the City College of New York. He took a position at the Emerson Electric Manufacturing Co. in St. Louis, MO, designing machinery for military aircraft for several years.

     Goldberg entered the military intelligence service as a Navy Ensign in about 1942, and was stationed in Hawaii redesigning Navy bombers. In 1946 he worked with Belle Kogan Design and with Donald Deskey Associates, both in New York. In 1947 he opened his own office as Robert I. Goldberg Associates, and headed the firm, later called Associated Industrial Designers, for 50 years, until 1997. In 1948 he received a M.A. degree from Columbia University, and his firm was redesigning Navy PT boats for non-military use, and designing the Aqua King, a cabin cruiser.

       In 1950, he became president of the American Designers Institute (ADI), (see photo at http://www.idsa.org/history-idsa), and founded a second firm, Design for Selling, Inc., which operated for 10 years, designing retail stores, displays, and packaging. During this period he began teaching a course in industrial design at the Evening Art School of Pratt Institute, and in 1953 attended graduate school at New York University leading to a doctorate in marketing, after which. from 1955 to 1964, as adjunct professor, he taught a course in industrial design in the School of Business there.

       In 1965, when design organizations. including ADI, merged, Bob became a member of the new IDSA. That year, Bob started a professional school for packaging and industrial design in rented floors of the Henry Hudson Hotel, until his resignation in 1969. He then taught industrial design at New York City Community College in Brooklyn, and then received a tenure-track position teaching industrial design, and later, marketing and business management courses, at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights.

       From 1951 until his retirement in 1997, Bob wrote many articles on industrial design and packaging for trade magazines, and appeared as lecturer for many business executives around the world, including South Korea, Israel, Singapore, Poland, Turkey, India, Denmark, Brazil, and Paris, among others. His design business flourished, designing for 28 toy companies, U.S. and Canadian postal services, wheel goods, absolute Vodka, Broil King and others. In 2002, he wrote a novel, “End Run on Madison Avenue.” Contact was lost with Bob in 2006, and he is presumed to be deceased, but if not, would be 93 in 2012.



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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