Noland E Vogt, FIDSA
Inducted into the Academy of Fellows: 1995
U.S. industrial designer born in Omaha, Neb., whose earliest exposure to design was through his model-making hobby, starting at age ten. At age 15 he competed in the General Motors Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild model car competition. He competed for five years, winning state and regional awards. He became enthusiastic about design at the Guild's national conventions in Detroit upon seeing what the "automotive stylists" were doing at General Motors.
Noland's educational background was a blend of skills: art and engineering. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Nebraska, and after serving four years in the U.S. Air Force (Korean War), attended the Art Center School in Los Angeles (now the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena). In 1958, he received his bachelors degree, with honors, in product design. Upon graduation he worked for the General Electric Company in Utica, N.Y., designing military electronic equipment. He subsequently transferred to G.E.'s computer department in Phoenix, Ariz. and directed its industrial design programs in computer peripheral products. In 1962, he became the senior industrial designer at Ampex Corporation in Redwood City, Calif., designing professional audio and broadcast videotape systems, as well as specialized audio/video systems.
In 1966, Noland co-founded GVO (Gruye-Vogt-Opperman, Inc.) in Palo Alto, Calif., and was its president and chief executive officer. In this role, he played a key part in assuring that the GVO environment fostered the design excellence that stems from the fusion of art and engineering for which GVO was widely recognized. This vision led GVO to be the first industrial design firm to bring engineers, researchers, cultural anthropologists, human factors specialists, and model makers for rapid prototyping on staff to fully integrate the design process.
In the design profession for more than 40 years, Noland acquired dozens of design and utility patents. Noland served as chairman and treasurer of the San Francisco Chapter of IDSA, and at the national level, chaired its Ethics Advisory Council; served as chairman of an IDSA National Conference; and chaired the IDSA Patron Program. In 1995, he was inducted into the IDSA Academy of Fellows.
Noland retired in 1998 and relocated from the San Francisco Bay area to southern Oregon in 2002. He and his wife, Barbara, have three children and six grandchildren. He continues to be active in the Vintage Airstream Club, whose members collect, maintain, and restore vintage Airstream recreational vehicles. In 2000-2001 he was president of this international club with over 1300 members.
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