Belle Kogan, FIDSA

Belle Kogan, FIDSA

Believed to be first professional female industrial designer to work in the United States, Belle Kogan, FIDSA was born in Ilyashevka, Russia and emigrated to the United States in 1906. In the early 1920s, she studied at Pratt Institute and the Art Students League.

In 1929 she was hired by Quaker Silver Co. in Attleboro, MA, and trained as a silver designer at New York University, Rhode Island School of Design, and Pforzheim, Germany Art School. At Quaker she went on to head a department of 20 employees. In 1932, she opened her own New York office, Belle Kogan Associates. She and her team designed products for companies such as Bakelite Corp., Libbey Glass, Maryland Plastics, and many more.

In 1944, Kogan was secretary treasurer of the Industrial Designers Institute (IDI) in New York City. IDI, the American Society of Industrial Designers (ASID), and the Industrial Designers Education Association (IDEA) merged in 1965 to form the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).

Belle closed her New York office in 1970 and moved to Israel under contract with KV Design, where she set up a studio offering comprehensive design services. In 1972 she left the studio to work as a consultant, and lived in Israel until age 98. In 1994, Kogan received IDSA's Personal Recognition Award for her life's work and contributions to industrial design. She also received IDSA's highest honor of Fellowship.