Good design does not simply determine how an object looks, but also deals with a variety of equally challenging questions such as “How is it made? What does it cost? How well does it work? Is it difficult to use? Is it appealing? Does it better the life of its user? What are its selling points?” The visual form of product design is a truly interesting topic as it leads to more basic questions. Viktor’s work illustrates these issues and highlights the “secret history” of industrial design that goes beyond mere appearance. It demonstrates the complex invisible factors behind successful products – especially regarding physical and psychological variables that he likes to call “human factors.”
Because his clients were so pleased with his designs, he never wanted for work. Clients who saw one product wondered if he would like to turn his hand to something similar. Over the course of his career, this often led him far from his starting point. Pedal cars, for example, would lead to golf cart lawn mowers; printing presses would lead to consoles for electronic controls; bicycle headlights would lead to flashlights, which in turn would lead to prismatic lighting fixtures streetlights, and modular lighting systems. One of the startling things about Viktor’s career is the sheer number of objects that he designed and because of their popularity, the millions that were manufactured.
No matter what kind of projects and artistic ventures Viktor has taken up, he always remains true to his vision and desire to meld beauty and practicality. He has worked in all media and on all types of projects, thereby cementing his place in American history and our everyday lives.
In 1972, at the age of 66, Viktor stopped accepting Industrial Design projects and devoted his time to teaching and building the Industrial Design program at the Cleveland Institute of Art.