Peter W. Bressler, FIDSA

Peter W. Bressler, FIDSA | Pbressler, LLC
(B. 1946)

IDSA Secretary Treasurer: 2010-2012
IDSA Personal Recognition Award: 2010
Inducted into the Acadamy of Fellows: 1992
President of IDSA: 1989-1990

Peter Bressler graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in industrial design in 1968 and continued graduate work at RISD under Mark Harrison, IDSA for another nine months working on the Standup Wheelchair, a thesis project that received the IDSA Student Merit Award, The Alcoa Ventures in Design Award and the American Iron and Steel Institute Awards for both design and engineering. In 1970 Bressler formed Designs for Medicine Inc. in Philadelphia, PA, and successfully licensed the project to a manufacturer.

Bressler has remained principal of Designs for Medicine, later practicing as Peter Bressler Design Associates and later renamed Bresslergroup. In the early 70s Bressler was an instructor in the Industrial Design Department, Philadelphia College of Art and a consultant to the Franklin Institute Research Laboratories "Center for the Enhancement of the Capabilities of the Handicapped." Since the 70s, Bresslergroup has developed a broad range of projects in the medical, office, commercial, consumer and industrial products fields and has won over 60 design awards. In addition to 11 Industrial Design Excellence Awards, Bressler and the firm have won awards from ID magazine, CES, AIGA, Krupps, Good Design, Package Design Council, Japanese G Marks, IF Hanover Awards, Desi Awards, Appliance Magazine and PD&D Awards. Bressler is listed as author or co-author on over 70 US and foreign patents. Bresslergroup products have been selected for exhibit at the Katonah Museum and in The United States Information Agency Traveling Exhibit for Eastern Europe, "Design America."

Bressler has made invited presentations to the National Housewares Manufacturer's Association, IDSA Annual Conferences, ICSID Washington, DC and Nagoya, Japan, Temple University, Lehigh University, The EEC Design conference, Toulon, France, Taidi' 91 & Design forum '90 Conferences, Taipei, Taiwan, The National Academy of Sciences and The American Society of Mechanical Engineers. In 1987 he was an invited consultant and lecturer to The Peoples Republic of China.

Bressler has been an invited juror for the IDSA Industrial Design Excellence Awards, The Krupps International Design Competition, ID magazine Design Review and Reebok Designovation Competitions. In 1995 he served as the jury chair for the IDEA competition.

Bressler has taught courses achieving the level of associate professor at Lehigh University, The University of the Arts, and The Rhode Island School of Design.

Bressler joined the IDSA in 1973 and co-founded the Philadelphia Chapter. Since then he has served as IDSA annual conference chair, co-chair, National Committee for development of a professional field definition and entry level professional qualifications, director at large, national vice president, , ICSID Worldesign '85 Planning Committee, Chair, Design Excellence Gallery, Worldesign '85, secretary/treasurer, executive vice president, president, chair of the board, National Special Awards Committee, 1996 National Conference Committee, North East District VP, and most recently practitioner member, IDSA Education Committee. Bressler was awarded fellowship in IDSA in 1992.

He once again joins the IDSA Board as secretary/treasurer.

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Statement from the 2010 IDSA Personal Recognition Award committee

Peter Bressler is one of the few who can claim that his IDSA membership experience has run the gamut. He co-founded the Philadelphia Chapter. He served on the ICSID Worldesign '85 Planning Committee. He has chaired the IDEA jury, our Education Committee and one of our national conferences. He has served as district vice president, secretary/treasurer, executive vice president, national vice president and president. And that’s only about half of the roles he has performed in during his tenure as an IDSA member. It’s a 37-year legacy of service to the design profession that is nearly unrivaled.

Bressler introduced himself to IDSA—and the rest of the world--when he won a Student Merit Award for his Stand-Up Wheelchair Design, a thesis project he completed at RISD. That project also earned him an Alcoa Ventures in Design Award and the American Iron and Steel Institute Awards for both design and engineering. In 1970, Bressler formed Designs for Medicine Inc. in Philadelphia and successfully licensed the Stand-Up Wheelchair to a manufacturer. He has remained principal of Designs for Medicine, which later practiced as Peter Bressler Design Associates and was ultimately renamed Bresslergroup, as the firm is known today.

Bresslergroup has been at the forefront of industrial design and product development for a number of years, winning more than 80 international awards and authoring over 150 patents. Many of the firm’s client relationships can be measured in decades. For the past ten years, Bresslergroup has averaged double-digit growth annually.

It is difficult to pick one or even a dozen products that embody all of Bresslergroup’s values. The Becton Dickinson SafetyGlide Needle, a syringe which reduces the risk of infections for healthcare professionals who inject or draw blood, and the SRS Energy, a solar energy generating roofing system that won an IDEA in 2008 and is now housed at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, offer a small glimpse at the breadth of design business that helps tell the story of Peter Bressler’s career.

Under his direction, Bresslergroup became one of the first product design firms to sign the Designers Accord and has hosted events aimed at advancing the sustainability initiative in each of the last two years. The firm also recently launched as a product developer’s forum to share learnings on sustainability. 

Bressler is an active mentor and has taught design courses at Lehigh University, The University of the Arts, The Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Pennsylvania, where he is an adjunct professor who created an interdisciplinary product design department spanning the Colleges of Design and Engineering.

If you did the math earlier in this character sketch, you figured out that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of his eponymous design firm. True to his legacy of service, Bressler has quietly been positioning Bresslergroup to carry on well past his tenure. As he transfers Bresslergroup over to the management team, he shoring up his commitments to mentor young designers through his teaching at the University of Pennsylvania and getting busy as an advisor to industry.

While it may embarrass him a little bit to hear this, he is truly a monumental figure in the world of industrial design. We are very pleased to celebrate his life’s work (so far!) and to honor the 40th anniversary of Bresslergroup’s founding with IDSA’s Personal Recognition Award.

He may be reached at 215-681-6090 or

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