It is with unbelievable sadness that we share the news of Phil Patton's passing. He was one of the most prolific and respectful writers on design, cheerleading its importance while maintaining an ever-critical eye. Many of us would look forward to his articles in I.D. Magazine, Esquire and of course The New York Times and Sunday Times Magazine, and his sharp wit and generous spirit shone through in pretty much every paragraph he wrote. Phil was also a faculty member in the MFA Design Research program at SVA, and wrote many books. The Times has a beautiful obit up written by William Grimes, where he mentions the long-seminal article by Phil on the design of plastic coffee cup lids. I (and probably every other design teacher on the planet) have referenced that piece myriad times, and we treasure it as a reminder that cleverness spans many embodiments and across cultures. That piece, incidentally, first appeared in I.D. Magazine in 1995—the same year Core77 was born. I think the last thing I'll mention is what a sweet, honorable, prince of a man Phil Patton was. A stalwart popularizer of design, ever gracious, and ever humble, he will be missed and remembered by legions of readers and fans—both in the design world and well outside of it.
Allan Chochinov is a partner of Core77, a New York-based design network serving a global community of designers and design enthusiasts, and Chair of the new MFA in Products of Design graduate program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Allan lectures around the world and at professional conferences including IDSA, AIGA and IxDA, has been a guest critic at various design schools in including Yale University, IIT, Carnegie Mellon, Ravensbourne, RMIT, University of Minnesota, Emily Carr, and RISD. He has moderated and led workshops and symposia at the Aspen Design Conference, the Rockefeller Center at Bellagio, Compost Modern, and Winterhouse, and is a frequent design competition juror. Prior to Core77, his work in product design focused on the medical, surgical, and diagnostic fields, as well as on consumer products and workplace systems. He has been named on numerous design and utility patents and has received awards from The Art Directors Club, I.D. Magazine, Communication Arts, and The One Club.