Thomas M. David, FIDSA*
Thomas David, FIDSA, passed away in Milwaukee, WI on Dec. 20, 2017 at the age of 76. Originally from California, he earned a master's degree in industrial design from California State University-Long Beach in 1978. David taught at Purdue University, then, from the mid-1980s to 2006, at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD).
His colleagues are recalling his dedication to design education. "Tom came to MIAD at a time when the ID program needed a revival that he led successfully singlehandedly, until I joined him in the early 90s," says Pascal Malassigné, FIDSA, senior professor and chair of the industrial design program at MIAD. "Together with Brooks Stevens, FIDSA, Tom was instrumental in broadening the scope of the program and its influence regionally and nationally."
Sentiments also poured in on David's Facebook page from his former students: "Tom was my friend, and like many others, my greatest professor. His greatest attribute was empathy and his never ending search to understand less fortunate perspectives. I'll miss him greatly."
"Tom, you’re the person who firsthand introduced me to industrial design and pushed me to inquire deeper into that which is worth studying. In doing so, you have both nudged and guided me into what I do. Tom was a larger than life figure, one that couldn’t help but leave an indelible mark along his path. There are so many stories at times, it’s easy to miss Tom’s deeper meaning and fiery passion for his students. He will be deeply missed. As your student, I am still learning---27 years on."
From the IDSA community: "He will certainly be missed. His kindness was always part of his personality and I am again reminded of what an exceptional person he was to everyone," writes Betty Baugh, FIDSA.