Edward J. Zagorski, FIDSA

Edward J. Zagorski, FIDSA

Inducted into the Academy of Fellows: 1979

Industrial design educator who graduated with honors in 1949 from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, with a degree in industrial design, and received a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin. He taught at the University of Wisconsin from 1951-56.

In Spring of 1952, Zagorski introduced his freshmen to designing box kites, which startled the administration, but has since has become a common exercise in basic design education. He was head of the industrial design program at the University of Illinois from 1956-88, and upon retirement became professor emeritus. In 1963, he introduced the legendary "egg drop challenge," which was even featured in LIFE magazine. It's an excerise that is still practiced in schools and colleges.

Zagorski was president of Industrial Designers Education Association (IDEA) in 1963. A year later, Josef Albers recommended him to review a book by Johannes Itten and wrote, "I think you well represent the newer and broader development of 'basic design' in the U.S." In 1965, Zagorski became a Fulbright Scholar and Lecturer for one year in New Zealand, and is an Honorary Member of the Designers Institute of New Zealand (DINZ). In 1979, he was awarded Fellowship in the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).

In 1980, he received an award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from the University of Illinois. He earned a National Endowment for the Arts grant to write a series of articles on basic design, and in 1985, he was featured in an article in Smithsonian magazine on creativity in the classroom. In 1986, the University of Alberta, Canada awarded Zagorski the Distinguished Visiting Professor of the Endowment Fund for the Future, "because of his contribution to the development of industrial design on this continent that has been far and wide since his appointment at the University of Illinois at Champaign." In 1989, he received the Education Award for Excellence in Teaching from IDSA.

He has written many articles for IDSA's INNOVATION magazine and conducted workshops and lectured in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Italy and the Netherlands. He authored a book on basic design problems: Get Ten Eagles.