Deane W. Richardson, FIDSA
Inducted into the Academy of Fellows
At its first WORLDESIGN conference in Washington, DC, which attracted more than 2,300 attendees from around the world, IDSA honored the conference chair with the Society's highest honor, induction into IDSA's Academy of Fellows. Deane W. Richardson, FIDSA, is co-founder of RichardsonSmith and Fitch Inc. and has spent more than 40 years integrating research, design and development disciplines to solve tactical and strategic design problems for corporations worldwide.
In 1956, Richardson graduated from Pratt Institute with a degree in industrial design. In 1960, Richardson and fellow Pratt graduate, David Smith, began RichardsonSmith, a consulting firm in Columbus, OH. Over the years, RrichardsonSmith grew worldwide with locations in Asia, Europe and the United States. In 1990, the company merged with Fitch, a successful retail design firm in London which became Fitch RichardsonSmith, then in 1998, became Fitch.
The new firm offers a broad range of design skills from product development that includes industrial design and engineering, the design of communications and brand positioning, product launch programs and corporate identity programs and the design of retail environments. Notable companies such as Chrysler, Disney, Nissan, Hitachi, Xerox, Microsoft, Nokia, and Universal Studios are among a long list of clients. As co-founder, Richardson built his career on the management and planning of design processes within large and small companies. Fitch became a leader in the successful integration of design disciplines with experts in research, marketing and production.
In addition to his work within Fitch, Richardson has been active in the global design community, especially in the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid), which is now known as the World Design Organization (WDO). In 1985, Richardson chaired the Worldesign Icsid Congress in Washington, DC. It was the largest international assembly of designers in the United States. In 1989, he chaired a session at the Nagoya Icsid Congress. He served Icsid as a Board member. Then he became Icsid president from 1992 to 1993, representing global interests of industrial design from more than 50 countries and 100 design societies. He was part of the planning group for the 2007 Icsid Congress in San Francisco. Currently, he is an Icsid senator.
Throughout the 1990s, Richardson focused on Pacific Rim countries developing a knowledge base for Fitch's participation in this region during the 21st century. This led to 10-year relationships with LG (Goldstar) in Korea, Mitsubishi, Nissan and an office in Osaka to support the 15-year relationship with Duskin, a $5 billion service corporation.
His retirement in January 2001 was marked with an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the Columbus College of Art and Design. Richardson sails his 38 ft., 55-year-old wood racing sloop from his home in Castine, ME in the summers and the winters near Ft. Myers, FL. when he's not in Columbus taking care of real estate interests and a continued relationship with Fitch designers.