The Consummate Professional: Walter Dorwin Teague
Jason A. Morris, IDSA
Western Washington University
Walter Dorwin Teague (1883 - 1960) is considered one of the founding fathers of industrial design as well as one of the most prolific American industrial designers in history. He established his industrial design office in 1927, which continues today as one of the most important design institutions in the world. Teague was the consummate professional. He established relationships with his clients that lasted for decades. So what can we learn from him today about a how to build and maintain a successful design firm? How did Teague deal with diverse and prestigious clients such as Ford, Kodak, NCR, US Steel, Corning and Steinway? What was the value proposition that he offered them that put him at the top of the design profession? How did he run his office in the 1930s and 1940s that kept his staff of talented designers, architects and engineers happy for their whole career?