Urs Felber

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Urs Felber
Born (1942-07-10)10 July 1942
Egerkingen, Switzerland
Died 26 April 2010(2010-04-26) (aged 67)
Nationality Swiss
Occupation Businessman and design pioneer

Life and career[edit]

Felber was born in 1942 in Egerkingen, Switzerland, a small town in the canton of Solothurn.[1] His family ran a local carpentry workshop.

From 1962 to 1965, he studied mechanical engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. In 1964, he replaced a fellow student in his field study at a small furniture manufacturer company, De Sede. In 1966, he became a system engineer at De Sede. He took a 50 percent stake in the company.[2] By 1978, De Sede was exporting to over 70 countries and reached a turnover of 85 million CHF.

In 1979, he obtained a PhD in Design Management at Stanford University, California and the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, graduating magna cum laude. He authored Systematic Design Management in the Enterprise: Fundamentals and Concepts which heralded the birth of design management, design science and methodology.[3]

In the 1980s, he became a business partner and CEO of Vitra USA, the world's leading contract furniture manufacturing firm.[4] Parallel to his US activities, he became a board director in several companies, such as Wilkhahn International, Wilkhahn Switzerland, Swissflex and Team by Wellis.

In 2001, Urs Felber bought Swiss furniture company Dietiker AG[5] from the supermarket chain Migros and transformed it into a recognized brand by bringing contemporary designs, with products winning the Red Dot Design Award and Neocon Innovation Award. Dietiker became a leader in Switzerland and Europe in the contract furniture market.

Awards and honors[edit]

In 1999, urs felber was made a Honorary Fellow of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. In 2002, he received Doctor Honoris Causa]] from the University of Tel Aviv [6] On 20 May 2003, the Aviva and Urs Felber Jubilee Plaza was inaugurated at Tel Aviv University in recognition of his commitment to the university.[7]


Urs Felber died on 26 April 2010.[citation needed]


  1. ^ http://www.contractdesign.com/contract/Design-Industry-Mour-1724.shtml
  2. ^ "Nachrichten und Informationen aus der Möbelbranche". moebelkultur.de. Retrieved 2013-06-13. 
  3. ^ Urs Felber, "Systematisches Designmanagement in der Unternehmung: Grundlagen und Konzepte", Marburg, 1984
  4. ^ http://www.contractdesign.com/contract/ls/article-archive.html?articletitle=COLUMNS-NONE_Focus_%20Ones%20to%20Watch_565.xml
  5. ^ Vlessing, Robert; Lasker, David (2007-11-04). "Dietiker Switzerland". metropolismag.com. Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. 
  6. ^ "Tel Aviv University Webflash - May 2003". .tau.ac.il. Retrieved 2013-06-13. 
  7. ^ http://www.tau.ac.il/public-affairs/TAU_Insider_Fall06.pdf

External links[edit]