Victor Margolin (1941-2019) was Professor Emeritus of Design History at the University of Illinois, Chicago
Early life and career
Victor Margolin grew up in Washington D.C. He studied English literature and film at Columbia University, where he graduated in 1963. While a student, he contributed to MAD magazine and edited the university humor magazine, the Columbia Jester, as well as two books of puns. After graduation, he studied film directing on a Fulbright Fellowship at the Institute of Higher Cinema Studies in Paris. Following his return to the United States, he worked briefly for the National Broadcasting Company in Washington D.C. and for the public television station, WETA. He moved to New York City in 1972, where he published his first two books on design history and design theory, American Poster Renaissance: The Great Age of Poster Design, 1890-1900 (1975) and the edited volume, Propaganda: The Art of Persuasion, WWII (1976).
In 1975, he moved to Chicago where he held several jobs in college and university administration before obtaining a PhD in design history from the Union Graduate School, a non-traditional institution based in Cincinnati. His dissertation was on the graphic design of Alexander Rodchenko, El Lissitzky, and László Moholy-Nagy. Margolin began teaching art and design history at the University of Illinois, Chicago in 1982 and remained there for his entire career, retiring in 2006.
When he arrived at the university, he was invited to join a group of colleagues to help found the academic design journal Design Issues, which began publication in 1984 and celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2014. Margolin was the founding editor and then became a member of the editorial board. He edited Design Discourse, an anthology of articles from the journal in 1989. Other edited or co-edited volumes include The Idea of Design (1995), Discovering Design: Explorations in Design Studies (1995), and The Designed World: Images, Objects, Environments (2010). In 1997 he published The Struggle for Utopia: Rodchenko, Lissitzky, Moholy-Nagy, 1917-1946 and in 1992 a volume of his own articles, The Politics of the Artificial: Essays on Design and Design Studies appeared. He began work on a comprehensive World History of Design sometime after 2000, the first two volumes of which were published in 2015.
For more than fifteen years, Margolin was the director of the Museum of Corn-temporary Art, a private museum that he founded and maintained in his university office. In 2002 he published a book on the museum, Culture is Everywhere, with the photographer Patty Carroll. The museum now resides in the permanent collection of The Wolfsonian in Miami Beach, Florida.
Margolin was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the organisers of the LearnXDesign conference in Chicago in 2015, for his 'exemplary contributions to design history, research, education and practice'  and a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Design Research Society in 2016. 
Margolin died on November 27th, 2019, in Washington, DC.
Publications and contributions
- The Little Pun Book, editor. Mt. Vernon, N.Y. Peter Pauper Press, 1960
- Peter Pauper’s Pun Book, editor, Mt. Vernon, N.Y. Peter Pauper Press, 1962
- American Poster Renaissance: The Great Age of Poster Design, 1890-1910, author, New York: Watson-Guptill, 1975
- Propaganda; The Art of Persuasion, WWII, editor. New York and London: Chelsea House Publishers, 1976
- The Promise and the Product: 200 Years of American Advertising Posters, co-author, New York: Macmillan, 1979
- Design Discourse, editor, Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press, 1989
- The Idea of Design, co-editor, Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press, 1995
- Discovering Design, co-editor, Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press, 1995
- The Struggle for Utopia: Rodchenko, Lissitzky, Moholy-Nagy, 1917-1946, author, Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press, 1997
- The Politics of the Artificial: Essays on Design and Design Studies, author, Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press, 2002
- Culture is Everywhere, Munich. Prestel, 2002
- Healing the World; A Challenge to Designers, Chicago: Archeworks, 2004 [The Archeworks Papers 1 No. 1]
- The Designed World: Images, Objects, Environments, co-editor, Oxford: Berg, 2010
- Design e Risco de Mudanca (Design and the Risk of Change). Porto: Verso da História and ESAD, 2014
- World History of Design, v. 1 & v. 2, London; Bloomsbury, 2015
- The Design of Utopia, co-author, Chicago: University of Illinois, 1985
- "Victor Margolin". University of Illinois at Chicago. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- "Design Discourse". The University of Chicago Press. The University of Chicago Press. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- "World History of Design". Bloomsbury Publishing. Bloomsbury Publishing. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- "Amazon". Amazon. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- > "Victor Margolin". Bloomsbury Publishing. Bloomsbury Publishing. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- > "About Grants and Awards". Design Research Society. Design Research Society. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
- "Obituary Victor Margolin (1941-2019)". Design History Foundation. 2019-12-03. Retrieved 2019-12-10.
Bloomsbury Publishing. "Victor Margolin". [online]. Available at: <http://www.bloomsbury.com/author/victor-margolin/>
Bloomsbury Publishing. World History of Design. [online]. Available at: <http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/world-history-of-design-9781472569288/>
Bloomsbury Publishing. The Designed World. [online]. Available at: <http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-designed-world-9781847885852/>
University of Illinois at Chicago. Victor Margolin. [online]. Available at: <http://tigger.uic.edu/~victor/>
Carnegie Mellon University. How do you Design the Future? [online]. Available at: <http://www.design.cmu.edu/designthefuture/victor-margolin/>
MIT Press Journals. Design Issues. [online]. Available at: <http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/desi.2009.25.2.94#.VA2EpaK5F8E>
Tropisms. A thoughtful Explorer: Interview with Victor Margolin. [online]. Available at: <http://www.tropecollaborative.com/blog/2011/10/a-thoughtful-explorer-interview-with-victor-margolin/>
University of Illinois at Chicago. Faculty Papers -- Victor Margolin Papers. [online]. Available at: <http://www.uic.edu/depts/lib/specialcoll/services/lhsc/ead/006-04-20-01f.html>