BRIAN ARTHUR STEINHOBEL BIO
Brian ART Steinhobel is recognised globally as one of the world’s most talented, prolific industrial designers with a career spanning over three decades.
A 37 year journey of pioneering the sharp edge of Design and Technology, while simultaneously creating a Global business network, based on Innovation and specialist manufacturing know-how, harnessed in a totally unique capability.
Over this period he has lived and worked in a World with Celebrity Designers and Race Car Drivers; from Gianni Versace to Nigel Mansell and from BMW to Hewlett Packard. In the Business world with his mentors the late Dr. Anton Rupert and more recently the dynamic billionaire Paul Harris.
Steinhobel Design (Pty) Ltd and the prestigious brand ART Steinhobel, is an entrepreneurial, product design and industrial design company in South Africa, servicing corporate and individual clients across diverse industries, including electronics, packaging, mining and sports equipment, locally and in Asia, Europe and the Americas. Steinhobel Design has a proven ability to transform the performance of products in the marketplace and their projects range from refining and refreshing existing products to the design of entirely new products, where Steinhobel becomes a central part of the conversation of an innovative idea into an effective product.
Over the years Steinhobel has designed everything from parts for Formula One racing cars and aeroplanes, Octo military drones and command vehicles to sensually shaped chairs and object d’art pieces.
Work is carried out in a multitude of industries, including sports equipment, appliances, furniture, automotive and aeronautical, to name a few. Steinhobel’s work has a bias towards complex injection-moulded plastics, pressure die-cast aluminium, cadcam and animation.
Brian Steinhobel is a past President of the Council for Industrial Design and is a past president of Design South Africa Industrial Design. His own awards include the Technology Top 100 Minister's Award, Warwick University Technology Excellence Award, Design Institute SABS Chairman's Award, Business Day Technology Award, International Gold Photography Award and the Canon Wildlife Photography Award.
Brian’s creative path was somewhat interrupted with four years compulsory military conscription, spread over 10 years of military service in the underwater Seal Team SCUBA unit of the South African Navy, specializing in attack diving and underwater demolitions. During this period as a naval Lieutenant Officer he spent thirteen months at sea aboard a frigate in charge of diving operations during the Angolan conflict and served five years as Commanding Officer of the diving unit at SAS Rand. He instructed the renowned Rhodesian Special Air Service SAS during his service.
A year’s sabbatical exploring the large majority of the Worlds Art Museums and architectural landmarks was one expedition very much integrated into Brian’s philosophy of honing artistic sensitivities, which must be blade sharp if purity of design solutions is to be achieved based on trusting your instincts as a designer.
Alumna of the faculty of Art and Design of the University of Johannesburg, was then accepted into the Royal College of Art in London to do postgraduate studies, but due to the South African politics at the time, he had to forego a bursary from Ford Europe, which was the first of a few political blocks experienced in his career based on being a South African under global sanctions.
Soon after qualifying Brian was offered commissions in Hong Kong and Japan which he pursued and soon created a liaison office in Hong Kong doing wrist watch and sun glasses designs amongst other products, including sewing machines and sports equipment.
A few years were also spent commuting between Taiwan and Singapore and the USA, where exercise home gym equipment became a feature subject. During this period Brian spent time in Taiwan with renowned automotive designer, Georgetto Giorggiaro and was offered a position at Ital design in Italy. Although very enticing, he decided to pass up on this opportunity to concentrate on developing Steinhobel Design independently.
After establishing an office in South Africa during his studies, which commenced in 1980 and having worked on numerous commissions in many countries around the world, Brian has continued to work in a multitude of industries, applying a wide range of materials and technologies to hundreds of designs which have been carried out. These range from automotive, aerospace, medical, mining, electronic, consumer goods and sports equipment to name but a few.
Solving design problems in abroad variety of industries whilst incorporating the use of different materials and technologies, allows for effective sharing/’cross pollination’ of technology transfer in the design solutions. This allows for and promotes a high level of lateral thinking in the design process while creating innovative product development. This together with the use of the appropriate material, or combination of materials and technologies involved.Through the years commuting globally has become a lifestyle for Brian between Continents, Countries and Cities with umpteen global circumnavigations by air and a record of 26 countries in 13 months amongst a multitude of international trips.
Brian is personally cited as co-inventor on a few hundred patents and Design Patents as often inventive steps are required during the design process to fully resolve a product’s development. Brian also fosters the international norm of having fee and royalty derived remuneration for design. He holds equity in numerous companies as a shareholder or director of design and technology and has partnered with many inventors and businessmen.
In more recent years Brian has established a base in Bristol, England serving clients in Germany, Italy, Austria and most of Europe. ART Steinhobel Austria is the business base and brand that is evolving into Europe and the world.
Brian has judged and continues to judge a number of design competitions in South Africa and around the world including the Australian Design Awards, the British D&AD Awards, the German Braun Design Prize, the South African Bureau of Standards Design Awards, the PG Bison Awards, the CN furniture Awards and various tertiary education and school Awards.
Public speaking engagements and television appearances are a regular item on Brian’s agenda including various programmes on CNBC and SABC, GIBS (Gordon Institute of Business) No 2 Business University in Africa, EY Entrepreneur Retreat for the EY World Entrepreneur Award / Entrepreneur of the Year Finalists – current year EY World Entrepreneur Award / Entrepreneur of the Year participants from previous years and different regions Global entrepreneurs who will be attending SGF, Entrepreneurial Winning Women, various Key note speaking engagements on Trade Conference Shows, Key Note speaker on the Internet Solutions Global Executive Retreat and will speak later this year in Lithuania on a business and youth conference.
A life and work documentary made by SABC titled “Africa Rising” was produced and screened a number of times together with the life of Gabriel Heili Selassi about the impact on Africa by these two African born people. A large repertoire of products and projects are being rolled out globally and three decades of intense work is culminating in the Brian Steinhobel brand being more prominent with products based on a massive heritage of technical ability and design understanding using the most sophisticated manufacturing processes, materials and an absolute dedication to the pursuit of excellence.
Steinhobel Design continues to be one of the pre-eminent product development centres in the world and consistently delivers a level of design solution extraordinarily ahead of the curve with hyper-creativity as a core value.
The subtle nuances of high design, driven by cutting edge technology, sub-conscious and conscious psychologies, ergonomics, anthropometrics, computer aided design (CAD), manufacturing technologies, marketing strategies, legal intellectual property and contractual issues, business and entrepreneurial skills and a plethora of dynamic symbiotic influences must all be orchestrated and culminate in products that will impact for the betterment of civilization.