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 of science degree from the University of Wisconsin. He taught at the University of Wisconsin from 1951-56.
In Spring of 1952, he introduced his freshman students to designing box-kites, a first for this University which startled the administration, but has since has become a common exercise in basic design in schools across the nation. Basic design education and creativity have been Zagorski's passion to the present.
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 "egg-drop" problem, simulating an astronaut in space. To this day, colleges, high schools and even elementary schools have been giving the problem to their students after it appeared in Life magazine.
Zagorski was president of Industrial Designers Education Association (IDEA) in 1963. In 1964, 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, he 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 was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts to write a series of articles on basic design, and in 1985 appeared in an article in the Smithsonian on creativity in the classroom. In 1986, the University of Alberta, Canada awarded him 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 the IDSA.
He has written many articles for Innovation and has conducted workshops and lectured in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Italy, and the Netherlands. He has recently released a book on his basic design problems entitled, Get Ten Eagles.
Read more about Ed from past students and the University of Illinois Newsletter on the occassion of his 90th Birthday in the attached pdf below.
For all past students of Ed, there is a party in his honor at the school on Saturday evening the 24 September 2011. See the attached PDF for details
application/pdf iconEd Zagorski 90th Birthday Party_1.pdf