Brunner received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design from San José State University in 1981. After working as a designer and project manager at several high technology companies, he co-founded Lunar Design in 1984 with Jeff Smith and Gerard Furbershaw. In 1989, Robert accepted the position of Director of Industrial Design at Apple Computer, where he provided design and direction for all Apple product lines, including the PowerBook. He was succeeded by Jonathan Ive in 1997. He claims that while with Apple, he hired Ive three times.
In January 1996 he became a partner in the San Francisco office of Pentagram.
Robert leads a design team, Ammunition LLC, offering product, identity and interaction design and strategy consulting to many U.S. and international clients. Their strength is creating design ideas that not only work as objects but also meet the market objectives of an organization or business unit. In 2006, Brunner partnered Alex Stow, founder of San Francisco-based Zephyr Ventilation, to launch outdoor grill design firm Fuego. Emblematic of his relationship with Stow, he designed the Arc Collection of modern range-hoods for Zephyr Ventilation. In 2008, Creative Director Brett Wickens, and Brand Strategist Matt Rolandson joined Ammunition LLC as partners. Both were former leaders at MetaDesign.
Robert's work has been widely published in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. His product designs have won 23 IDSA Awards from the Industrial Designers Society of America and Business Week, including 6 best of category awards. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in both New York and San Francisco.
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