Tucker Madawick, FIDSA

Tucker Madawick, FIDSA
(1917–2006)

IDSA President: 1969–1970
Inducted into the Academy of Fellows: 1965

Born in New York City suburbs, industrial designer and automotive designer Madawick attended Brooklyn Technical High School, studied at the Art Students League and was in the first class of industrial design at Pratt Institute from 1935 to 1938. He joined Ford in 1939, and was a participant in the New York World's Fair. He was involved with pre-war Fords, Mercurys, Lincoln-Zephyrs and Continentals. From 1943 to 1946 he joined Ford's aircraft team and worked at Ford's B-24 bomber facility at Willow Run, Michigan, and later as production coordinator for Convair on the super B-36 global bomber in their Fort Worth, Texas facility. In 1946 he joined the Lippincott & Margulies design firm headed by J. Gordon Lippincott. He was soon involved with the design of the ill-fated Tucker 48 car introduced by Preston Tucker as the "Car of Tomorrow," along with a team that included Hal Bergstrom, Philip S. Egan, Budd Steinhilber and independent Read Viemeister.

Tucker joined Raymond Loewy Associates in 1947 and was selected to establish Loewy's new London office, participating in accounts with Electrolux of Sweden, Austin of England, Unilever, Gestetner, Lyon's Tea House, the Rootes Group and Allied Ironfounders. He returned to New York in 1950, where he was sent to South Bend, IN, headquarters of Studebaker, and joined the Loewy team working on the 1953 Starliner, winner of numerous international design awards and establishing Studebaker as a styling leader.

In 1959 he joined RCA as Manager of Radio, Phonograph, Tape and Television Design. Madawick assembled a multidisciplinary Advanced Design Panel which included Paul Rudolph, Dean of the School of Architecture at Yale University, along with distinguished representatives of interior design, decorating, and market research. From this effort Madawick developed a highly futuristic series of potential electronic product designs that reinforced the corporation's new direction in technology and lifestyles. In 1961 RCA unveiled its highly futuristic "Sets of the Seventies" advanced style concepts by its Advanced Design Center under Madawick that included pocket-size color TV receivers, a slimmer TV, "Hear-See" TV tape cartridges, lap-top viewing and a large screen set that received pictures from a satellite. These prototype products eventually appeared (some 30 years later!) in retail stores. Madawick became Vice President of the RCA Advanced Design Center in 1968 and became Divisional VP of Consumer Electronic Products from 1971 until his retirement in 1980.

Long supportive of the design community, Madawick became President and Fellow in 1964 of the Industrial Designers Institute (IDI) and later, President and Fellow of its successor, the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).

Madawick's main focus is still automobiles. He has visited and lectured at many college campuses on Classic automobiles and their designers. Madawick lives in Franklin, Indiana, but winters in Florida. As past Commodore of the Landings Yacht Club in Fort Myers, he continues to sail the Florida Gulf Coast with his wife, Patricia.