It is with deep sadness that we share the passing of WDO Senator, friend and colleague Robert Blaich (1930-2021). In addition to serving as Vice President (1983-1985), Secretary General (1985-1987) and President (1987-1989) of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid), Dr Blaich was a fellow of IDSA, a member of the Design Institute of Australia and The Royal Society of the Arts UK. For over 60 years, he contributed to the growth and development of industrial design.

Born on 25 February 1930, in New York, Blaich trained as an architect and industrial designer, working across North American and Europe at renowned firms such as Thonet, Herman Miller, Royal Philips Electronics (Philips), Teague Design and later founding Blaich Associates.

At Thonet in the early 1950s, Blaich’s first assignment included designing the fixed seating for the United Nations’ General Assembly and Security Council at their headquarters in New York, which is still in use today.

During his tenure at the Icsid, he organized the Philips/Icsid International Design Prize for young designers and received the Icsid World Design Medal in 1992 for his outstanding contributions to the Industrial Design Profession on a Global Basis.

Blaich is the author of two publications on industrial design released in the 1990s: Product Design and Corporate Strategy, co-written with his wife Janet Blaich and New and Notable Product Design.