Budd Steinhilber, FIDSA
National IDSA Treasurer/Secretary
IDSA Personal Recognition Award: 1991
Inducted Academy of Fellows: 1984
Budd Steinhilber grew up in Woodstock, N.Y. He studied at NY’s High School of Music and Art, and entered Pratt Institute’s Industrial Design program in 1940, studying under founding director Donald Dohner, as well as Rowena Reed Kostellow, and Eva Zeisel. He apprenticed with Raymond Loewy Associates in 1942 and then joined the firm of Dohner & Lippincott. Budd was part of the Lippincott team that designed the front end and rear end of the iconic Tucker 48 rear-engine automobile. He was also part of the Lippincott & Margulies 1952 design team that planned the Crew & Officers quarters for America’s first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus. For 17 years he was a partner with fellow Pratt classmate Read Viemeister, FIDSA, functioning as VIE Design Studios in southwest Ohio. He and Viemeister established the industrial design program within the School of the Dayton Art Institute. Budd moved on to San Francisco in 1964 and joined in partnership with Gene Tepper (Tepper & Steinhilber Assoc.) Later, in 1972, he formed the Steinhilber & Deutsch design consultancy with graphic design partner Barry Deutsch.
During his 70 years as a design consultant, Budd has designed a very diverse range of graphic, exhibit and product design—ranging from bicycles, commercial airline interiors, corporate logos, vacuum cleaners, machine tools, electric lawnmowers, software packaging, ambulances, gas ranges, brandy bottles, automobile steering wheels, electronic calculators, steel furniture, computer systems, CAT scanners, lasers, hospital data systems, backpacks, videotape editors, retail stores, MRI scanners, a rapid transit system, aerobatic aircraft—and even Shakespearean Festival stages.
Clients have included: General Motors, Atari, General Electric, Electronic Arts, Ampex, LeBlond Lathe Co., Intel Corp., Chromatix Corp., Lockheed, JBL Sound, Grid Systems, Omark Industries, Huffy Mfg., The Northface, VisiCorp, Mark Systems, Granger Associates, Resonex, Christen Industries, Pabst Brewing, Syntex Corp., Warner Communications and Esprit.
Budd has served as IDSA ‘s National Treasurer/Secretary, and its Board of Directors, during which time he founded and chaired the IDSA Environmental Responsibility Section. Budd has won several gold IDEA Awards and served three times as Juror. He was honored to be inducted into IDSA’s Academy of Fellows in 1984 and to receive the IDSA Personal Recognition Award in 1991.
He also received a 1993 Alumni Achievement Award from Pratt Institute, and a $20,000 “Distinguished Designer Fellowship” grant from the NEA in 1990.
He moved to the Big Island of Hawaii, but continued working as a one-man consultancy, primarily in graphic advertising design and marketing collateral. Budd mentored a group of Hawaiian high-school students in the building of a unique solar-mobile, which they raced 3000 kilometers across the Australian Outback, on nothing but solar power, in the grueling 1990 World Solar Challenge. He spent seven years designing and prototyping innovative battery-electric vehicles and charging systems while co-founding Personal Electric Transports Corp. He showed his first BEV prototype at the UN Summit on Climate Change (1997 Kyoto) where he was also an NGO delegate. The UN also invited PET to demo his electric vehicles at the UN Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg 2002). Budd was honored in 2012 to join the list of 125 Pratt faculty and alumni members selected for their iconic works, created during the 125 years since Pratt’s founding in 1887.
Budd still lives on the Big Island of Hawaii—and, at last check he’s still working.