Designers often talk about the moment they realized their destiny lay in design. For Tucker Viemeister, it was pretty much the moment he was conceived. Tucker was born to Read Viemeister, a famous industrial designer (and an activist mom, Beverly, who nurtured his social responsibility side). And the name Tucker? It's because of the 1948 Tucker Sedan, the legendary automobile that his dad Read was busy designing at the time of his birth. Yes, Tucker Viemeister is named after a piece of industrial design...which his industrial designer dad worked on! Talk about a birthright.
His career path went about the way you'd expect it to go. He was the co-founder of Smart Design with Davin Stowell, where he co-created the now-household-name kitchen tools OXO Good Grips. He then went on to found the New York office of frog design. Since 2001, however, he's been ensconced in the office of our reigning Master of Design David Rockwell, where he's been Lab Chief at the LAB at Rockwell Group, an interactive technology design group that merges the virtual with the physical, combining digital interaction design, modeling, and prototyping. (And in some beautiful symmetry, Tucker also co-founded Studio Red with David Rockwell, dedicated to innovation for another of our Masters, Coca-Cola.)
But for all his higher calling, Tucker remains remarkably grounded, often appearing on the scene wearing his signature baseball cap and an impossibly wide grin. He'll take a similar approach to his column for us this week, appropriately titled (for a Lab Chief) "What's Cookin'?" "I encourage good design by doing it myself, teaching other designers and showing people how they can make a difference, too," he says. "I like Huckleberry Finn's fence painting technique: make it fun. The goal is to encourage more people to be better designers." And he's doing it the best way he knows how: He's writing a book about his father Read.
So feast your eyes upon some of Tucker the Lab Chief's greatest hits. And then ponder what the next generations of Viemeisters are up to.
JetBlue's Marketplace at the JFK International Airport
"Digital Confetti," a one-night interactive installation for Metropolitan Home Magazine’s Design 100 party
"Hall of Fragments", an installation that opened the Corderie dell'Arsenale at the 2008 Venice Biennale
The Coke Cruiser for Coca-Cola developed by Springtime and Rockwell Group
And of course, the OXO Good Grips vegetable peeler, developed while at Smart Design
Tucker Viemiester's blog What's Cookin'?