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Q&A with Allen Samuels

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Allen Samuels


Began his industrial design career in 1966 and has designed products for 30 corporations, among them Corning Glass Works, Bausch & Lomb, Black & Decker, Westinghouse, Owens-Illinois, and 3M. He has produced designs for glassware and dinnerware, scientific and medical instruments, ophthalmic-related hardware, transportation, heavy industrial equipment, exhibits, and furniture.

Samuels joined the University of Michigan in 1975 as a professor of art and design, but continued his design work concurrent with teaching and research. From 1993 to 1999, he also served as dean of Michigan's School of Art and Design.


Over the years, Samuels's individual designs have won a number of awards. He was awarded an individual National Endowment for the Arts grant, took part in another as a member of a team of researchers, and was a primary researcher funded by a National Science Foundation grant. One design research project produced a mobile bathroom designed for bedridden individuals with physical and cognitive impairments who cannot get to or use a standard bathroom. This design was awarded a Red Dot Award and a US patent.


Samuels retired from the University of Michigan in 2008, but he continues to design and develop products that include disaster shelters, mobile devices for aging individuals, and other concepts and products that challenge current technologies.





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