Insatiable Curiosity

IDSA Member's 50-year Design Career Now Includes PhD

Herbst Produkt founding partner Walter Herbst, IDSA, completed his PhD in summer 2017. "Finishing a grueling four-year odyssey, the tireless design icon just returned from the United Kingdom where he completed his dissertation with Coventry University," reports the design studio. "Walter's insatiable curiosity and pursuit of design knowledge led him to create a collaboration between Northwestern University and Coventry, UK, where he studied insights and trends of graduate design curricula around the globe."

Herbst founded Herbst LaZar Bell, Inc., which grew into one of the largest independently owned design firms in the country with a staff of more than 100 professionals in three offices. In 2012, he opened Herbst Produkt, which now has offices in the Silicon Valley and Chicago areas and earned multiple honors, including IDSA's International Design Excellence Award.

At Northwestern University, Herbst instituted and directs the Master of Product Design and Development Management program, which was recognized by Businessweek magazine as one of the top 30 in the world to teach design thinking. Herbst holds more than 125 patents.