Remembering Industrial Designer and ID Board Member Robert Blaich
By Andrew Connor
January 6, 2022
Robert Blaich, a celebrated industrial designer and former board member at IIT Institute of Design (ID), passed away in September of 2021 at the age of 91.
Blaich was a pioneer of design management who made an impact early in his 60-year career. In 1953 he began a decades-long tenure at Herman Miller during some of its most innovative and prolific years, working with legendary designers like Charles and Ray Eames; later he joined Philips (then Royal Philips Electronics) as senior managing director of design.
As a design leader, Blaich sought to make design a larger force in business by incorporating design into production and marketing practices to create cohesive and compelling corporate identities. In 1991 he opened his own firm, Blaich Associates, which specialized in design management and strategy.
Blaich became a board member at the Institute of Design in 1995, when the board was first created by former board president Robert Pew.
In its online tribute to the late designer, the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) details more of Blaich’s contributions.