Pearl River High Pearl River, NY Class of 1948
- James Pirkl
- Graduation Year:
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Memories of James Pirkl
James Joseph Pirkl, FIDSA is professor emeritus of industrial design and past chairman of the department of design at Syracuse University. An internationally respected industrial design educator, writer and lecturer, he is the executive director of Transgenerational Design Matters.
An authoritative design consultant for the 50+ market, he has advised such organizations as Age Wave, Inc., the Arthritis Foundation, Asahikasei Homes Co. (Japan), The Boeing Company, Design Age (London), Ford Motor Design Center, General Electric Appliances, Johnson & Johnson, McNeil Consumer Products, and the National Association of Home Builders.
His Transgenerational House project was lauded in a feature article published in the AARP's influential magazine read by over 30-million aging Americans.
Described as a "key figure in universal design" by the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, his articles appear in a wide variety of international journals and periodicals. He is an occasional guest on National Public Radio and is quoted in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Machine Design, Mechanical Engineering Design, ID Magazine, Dwell, and Metropolis.
A former Senior Research Fellow at Syracuse University's All-University Gerontology Center, he co-authored the influential book, Guidelines and Strategies for Developing Transgenerational Products (Copley, 1988). His latest book, Transgenerational Design: Products for an Aging Population (John Wiley & Sons, 1997), was awarded a Gold Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA) co-sponsored by the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA) and Business Week magazine.
A Fellow of the Industrial Designers Society of America, he served as a director and as regional vice president. He chaired its education, accreditation, and universal/ transgenerational design committees, and In 2001 was awarded the Society's prestigious Education Award. He is a member of the Author's Guild, life member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, and an accreditation evaluator for the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
Before his academic appointment in 1965, he was an Assistant Chief Designer with the General Motors Design Staff responsible for developing advanced appliance designs for GM's Frigidaire division.
Listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Art, and Who's Who in Science and Engineering, he lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife Sarah.