Walter Furlani, FIDSA
IDSA Secretary and Treasurer:1965
Inducted into the Academy of Fellows:1968
Born in San Costanzo, near Fano on the Adriatic coast of Italy, Walter Furlani, FIDSA emigrated to the U.S. with his parents in 1931. He attended school in Schenectady, New York and upon graduation worked for General Electric and the American Locomotive Company as draftsman and machinist. He joined the U.S. Navy and served with the Seabees in Guam, the Philippines, from 1944 to 1947.
He attended Pratt Institute, studying under Alexander Kostellow, graduating in industrial design in 1950. He joined IBM 1n 1951 where he stayed until retirment.
In 1959, he was co-designer of the IBM 8200 Time Punch, selected by Fortune magazine as one of 100 best-designed products. In 1956, he assisted in organizing and coordinating the IBM Corporate Design Program, along with retained consultants Eliot Noyes, Paul Rand and Charles Eames. In 1964, as part of the IBM Design Program, his responsibilities were expanded to include graphics, exhibits, photography and interiors of buildings. In 1968, he was transferred to IBM Boca Raton, Florida, to form a Design Center at the Laboratory, and to become its manager.
He was active with the Industrial Designers Institute (IDI), serving as Vice Chairman (1962), and then Chairman (1963), of the Central New York Chapter. He led the Chapter in organizing an industrial design exhibit, "Industrial Design, Its Relation to the Arts," at the Roberson Memorial Center in Binghamton, New York, which represented the design work of 15 companies and firms in the region. He was also National Treasurer of IDI (1962-1963). When this organization merged with others in 1965 to become IDSA, he served as IDSA's National Secretary and Treasurer in 1965, as well as in other IDSA Chapter and National offices, and in 1968, was awarded Fellowship in IDSA.
He was a recipient of a number of a 3rd Level IBM Invention Achievement Award for 20 design patents, a recipient of the WESCON Award for the IBM 1050 Data Communications System (1963), and of the American Iron and Steel Institute Award for the IBM 1440 Data Processing System (1962).
He passed away in October 2009.