Respected former RMIT Industrial Design lecturer, Gerard Herbst, celebrated his 100th birthday on February 2nd 2011, surrounded by friends, family and former students.
A number of Industrial Design alumni attended the celebrations for Mr Herbst, whose association with RMIT lasted 25 years. RMIT alumni who joined family and friends at the event in Bendigo included Phillip Zmood, Robert Pataki, Richard Carlson, Roger Simpson, Tony Campbell, Douglas Tompkin, Barry Oliver, Oliver Streeton, Geoff Fitzpatrick, Michael Douglas and Ian Wong.
Mr Herbst received a Diploma of Industrial Design/Textile Design and attended teacher training in Cottbus, Germany. Arriving in Melbourne in 1939, he spent the six years of the Second World War serving with the Australian Military Forces. After the war, Mr Herbst joined a Brunswick-based textile business, Prestige Ltd, as Art Director and Designer.
He taught at the Melbourne Technical College School of Art, which became RMIT, from 1951 to 1960. After the College was amalgamated, Mr Herbst spent a further 16 years as Principal Lecturer in the Department of Industrial Design at RMIT before retiring in 1976.
Awarded the L'ordre Du Merite Culturel Warsaw in 1986 and the RMIT Centenary Medallion in 1987, Mr Herbst was inducted into the Design Institute of Australia's Design Hall of Fame in 1999.
Gerard Herbst with former students from RMIT Industrial Design Tony Campbell and Richard Carlson
RMIT lecturer Michael Douglas and Gerard Herbst.