Victor Papanek (22 November 1923 – 10 January 1998) was a designer and educator who became a strong advocate of the socially and ecologically responsible design of products, tools, and community infrastructures. He disapproved of manufactured products that were unsafe, showy, maladapted, or essentially useless. His products, writings, and lectures were collectively considered an example and spur by many designers. Papanek was a philosopher of design and as such he was an untiring, eloquent promoter of design aims and approaches that would be sensitive to social and ecological considerations. He wrote that "design has become the most powerful tool with which man shapes his tools and environments (and, by extension, society and himself).
Papanek was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1923. He attended public school in England and emigrated to the U.S. where he studied design and architecture. Papanek worked with Frank Lloyd Wright in 1949. He earned his Bachelor’s degree at Cooper Union in New York (1950) and did graduate studies in design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.A. 1955)...
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