Ronald B. Kemnitzer, FIDSA
IDSA President: 2005-2006
Inducted into the Academy of Fellows: 2003
Ron Kemnitzer is Chairman Emeriti of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) having served as IDSA's President from 2005-2006. He is also a professor of industrial design at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va., and an independent product design consultant. He is also president of DMC Villa Tosca USA, a design management centre devoted to the development of new design research and practice methodologies for a worldwide network of design colleagues.
Ron is the founder of Kemnitzer Design, Inc., a consulting practice located in Kansas City, Mo., that has successfully operated for over twenty years and is now owned and operated by his son, Jonathon Kemnitzer, IDSA. Kemnitzer Design (soon to change its name to Kem Studio) is a design laboratory that fuses architecture and industrial design.
Kemnitzer holds over 15 USA and international patents for his work, which has also been recognized in many design competitions. Kemnitzer Design received the Gold Good Design Award from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design in 2001 and 1997. The firm also received a Gold Award in the 1993 Plant Engineering magazine Product of the Year competition and a Bronze Award in the 1992 IDSA/BusinessWeek Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). In 1988, Ron designed the best selling Bola chair for Fixtures Furniture Company for which he was awarded an Institute of Business Design (IBD) Gold Award.
He received a bachelor's from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree from Northern Illinois University. Prior to establishing his own office in 1981, he held positions at Black & Decker Manufacturing Company and the Sunbeam Appliance Company. Ron served as the Nierenberg Distinguished Visiting Professor of Design at Carnegie Mellon University during the 2003-2004 academic year. He has also taught industrial design full-time at the University of Kansas, the Kansas City Art Institute and Michigan State University. He was elected to the IDSA Academy of Fellows in August 2003.