David B. Smith

(b. 1932)

At its annual conference in Santa Fe, IDSA honored Mr. Smith for his management style with RichardsonSmith that helped to bring their consultancy to prominence within the industry. His role in integrating different disciplines, developing diversified teams, broadening their knowledge base and enriching the process helped grow the breadth of the design business.

Dave studied architecture at The Ohio State University and graduated from Pratt Institute in industrial design. He started his career as a staff designer for the Kelvinator Division of American Motors Corporation...followed by Chrysler Corporation in Detroit, and later for AEG in Frankfort, Germany. In 1959 he co-founded Richardson/Smith in Columbus Ohio.

During the next thirty-plus years, along with a great group of talented designers and professionals, he worked at building a strong, unique and innovative design and marketing communications consultancy with offices in Columbus, Boston and San Diego. As President/Treasurer and later Co-Chairman, he was responsible for the overall operations of the firm.

In 1989 RichardsonSmith merged with the London-based form Fitch PLC under which the world-wide consultancy is now known. Since retiring he has continued to work with Crown Equipment, extending a long-time relationship dating back to 1960 (See IDSA Special Awards, 1995, Crown Equipment Co.).

Dave was the first recipient in 1994 of the Nierenberg Distinguished Professor of Industrial Design at Carnegie Mellon University, and the following year received the Alumni Achievement Award from Pratt Institute. He served as Chairman, President and Treasurer of the Association of Professional Design Firms and was a member of the Human Factors Society. He received the Edward Grauer Award from the Columbus Society of Communicating Arts, and served several years on the YMCA Board of Directors. Over the years he has received additional awards, patents, recognition and articles.

Along with his family and the Richardson family, he is involved in restoring a circa 1808 second home in Castine, Maine. Dave is married to his best friend and wife, Elaine, since 1955 and they have four great adult children who are scattered throughout the country.