William "Bill" Stumpf

William Stumpf, IDSA
(1936-2006)

US industrial designer born in St. Louis, who received a degree in industrial design from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1959, and a masters in environmental design from the University of Wisconsin in 1968.

In 1970 he joined the Herman Miller Furniture Company as director of research. In 1973 he established a studio in his home in Stockholm, WI, and a consulting practice, Stumpf, Weber & Associates, in Winona, MN. He designed the 1976 Ergon chair for Herman Miller, which considers it their first ergonomic office chair. He joined with Don Chadwick, an industrial designer in Los Angeles, CA, in 1977 to form Chadwick Stumpf and Associates. The result was their 1984 Equa chair and Ethospace System, both for Herman Miller.

In 1994, Stumpf and Chadwick created the Aeron Chair for Herman Miller, which became an instant classic, chosen by the Museum of Modern Art for its permanent collection a month before its introduction. In October 2006, Stumpf won the National Design Award in Product Design, awarded posthumously by the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in Manhattan.

Bill was a member of the Industrial Designers Society of America. He passed away in Rochester, MN on August 30, 2006.

100 Years of Design consists of excerpts from a book by Carroll M. Gantz, FIDSA, entitled DESIGN CHRONICLES—Significant Mass-produced Designs of the 20th Century, published August 2005 by Schiffer Publications, Ltd.