When Albe Steiner died two years ago, it was not only an enormous and irreparable loss to his family but also to the whole design profession. I have known him as one of the ﬁrst Italian members of the AGI and valued his friendship as much as his general design abilities, his total dedication to design, both in application and education. He loved to experiment and innovate in two and three dimensions.
But this was not all. He saw design as a way of life and as a way of inﬁuencing the environment and through it, people themselves. It was no coincidence that he was politically involved and could almost see that design might be one of the means to achieve desired ends. Design is an ordering activity or otherwise expressed, it is a way of reducing the chaos you ﬁnd by putting a little order into it, through simpliﬁcation and uniﬁcation, and possibly by dramatic, highlighting of things that matter at the expense of those which matter less and eliminating others which do not matter at all.
I met him last with his wife at the AGI congress in Poland and i remember how they showed me, during a long bus trip through the Polish landscape, a most lovingly compiled, designed and written publication on design with countless illustrations, in the hope that this publication, consisting of many pages, could be a tool of learning about design, understanding and appreciating it and eventually be the basis of a correspondence course. Those of our AGI colleagues and myself who saw this were ﬁlled with great admiration by this painstaking and dedicated work which was compiled jointly with his wife, Lica.
I feel Albe’s greatest contribution was to show the way in which designers can help to overcome this dilema, how they can make an essential contribution to bring about change and make it acceptable in human and social terms.
London, March 1977
FHK Henrion – AGI International President 1968-70
AGI International Interim President 1976
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