Industrial Design

Firm History

  • Emilio Ambasz offers a full range of design services including lighting, exhibition, graphic and product design. Since its inception in 1976, his office has created memorable images for a distinctive roster of international clients. Their belief in and identification with quality find representative expression in form, performance, added value and strong symbolic content. The firms' commissions executed for corporations, manufacturers, institutions and private developers, are characterized by a rigorous attention to the clients' aspirations and needs.

    As the design leader in the office, Emilio Ambasz has initiated a design concept that is visible throughout his product designs -the "object as an extension of the body." The greatest achievement under this concept is to make an anthropomorphic and anthropo-functional object that accompanies the movement of the body completely and unselfconsciously, just as a glove moves with the hand that wears it.
  • Ambasz' holds over a hundred primary mechanical as well as ornamental design patents both internationally and within the United States. He has achieved fame through the worldwide recognition of his innovative successes. The Industrial Designers Society of America and ID Magazine have both given him countless awards for his innovative products over the past two decades. In Italy, he has been awarded the coveted Compasso d'Oro four times.

    In June 23rd 1976, at Neocon, Chicago, Vertebra Chair Range was presented publicly. This office chair revolutionized the way we think about office seating and thus changed the contract chair market forever. For the first time, a chair was designed to move automatically with the human form. Dorsal line of seating, based on the success of Vertebra, soon followed with more adaptations of use and modularity. Vertebra is included in the Design Collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
  • During the 1980's, the office developed diverse products for a variety of clients worldwide. While continuing to develop a wide range of office chairs, other household consumer goods were produced. The Flexibol pen produced by Pentel, which hinges in the middle to enable it to be placed comfortably in a pocket. A line of travel tooth brushes each with a unique way of compacting to save space. Oseris and Logotech spotlights, both produced by ERCO, Germany, are high-end modular systems for museum use where very controlled and accurate lighting is demanded. All the while Ambasz has held the position of Chief Design Consultant at Cummins Engine Co. for the last 22 years where he oversees the company's design leadership in diesel engines, generators, electronic componentry, and engine supporting accessories.
  • In the 1990's Ambasz' product designs have diversified from small household product to large mass-produced. During this period a remarkable line of "soft" products were developed. These designs won much worldwide acclaim and qualified for several US patents. The office chair designs evolved into an array of shapes and materials while continuing the flexibility and self-adjusting qualities. Visor, an aluminum stacking line of chairs, produced by Knoll, is an award-winning cast aluminum chair with a unique system of connections that make assembly and adding accessories simple. Saturno, a modular streetlight system, has been installed along the roads leading from Rome, Italy, to its international airport. These lightweight stainless steel fixtures, almost transparent, not only illuminate the way, but also stand as hair thin sculptures.
  • Into the new century, Ambasz has continued to evolve his successful chairs designs by solving them with high-tech materials that were unavailable until now. His roster of clients range from the innovative German company Vitra, Europe's greatest patron of design oriented office furniture to IBM. For IBM, a new "portable-desktop" computer concept was developed that offers unprecedented modularity to a fully functional portable computer housed in a rubber casing.