On 30 November 2009 INDD Professor Emeritus Walter Schaer passed away at his home in Switzerland. His wife, Dr. Barbara Schaer was kind enough inform us of his passing. Dr Schaer served on the Auburn INDD faculty from 1960 to 1992 and was instrumental in establishing the Master of Industrial Design degree program. Dr Schaer, graduate of the Ulm School '58, made a lasting impression on many alumni of this era. Auburn faculty Chris Arnold, Randy Bartlett, Rich Britnell, Tsailu Liu, and Shea Tillman were all students at Auburn during Dr. Schaer's tenure.

Tsai-Lu Liu, Rich Britnell, Walter Schaer, Eric Tse

A message from Barbara Schaer:

I am sorry to tell you that Walter Schaer died 30 November 2009. The funeral was on 3 Dec. and the crematorium was full of people.

He made friends everywhere and even though we are "relative lately" here there were many to say goodby.

Best greetings,


Here are some email quotes:

I have plenty of funny Schaer moments ... here are a few I remember:

1. IND311 - I went up to present my mixer (Nautilus- from 20 thousand leagues under the sea) and it was completely painted and running well. He let me present for a moment and when I put it down on the table and was talking to the presentation boards he picked it up. He dropped the beaters out of it, then brought it down hard on the table surface with a karate grunt. The model split right down the middle parting line and fell open revealing my hastily inserted motor secured by globs of epoxy. He made one of his famous "Oh my Gawwwwd .... loook at ziss guys craftsmanship..." . Kind of embarrassing at the time, but certainly memorable.

2. I took his Taekwondo class one quarter and remember all of his antics. His wife was a second degree black belt and led most of the classes, he just showed up to goof around. She would be up there doing jumping jacks and when she turned around facing away from the class he would start jumping erratically making goofy faces. Made us all laugh and the Mrs. Schaer would whip around trying to catch him and snip at him.

So many more are starting to come to mind ... He will be missed.

" Zee end is near....pussycat "... " Kill your baby" two of my favorites.

His kooky and crazy ways definitely made an impact on my Design career. Thanks for reminding me.



What about...." Oh my ggaawwd...you need to go home and be a cheekun farmer!"



I distinctly remember three things.

1. First week of IND 311 when we were designing hand mixers. I had blobs of brown clay over a wood block. Schaer walks in and makes my model an example for the whole class by carving the clay with the mixer's beaters while rambling on about form transition. In the moment, not too fun. In hind site, classic.

2. Methods class when he caught his beard on fire while striking a match.

3. When he retired, the Dean of Arch and the Dean of Students came to a little ceremony for Schaer at Smith Hall. Students were sitting on the grand staircase. After the administration finished their speeches, the students called for Schaer to say a few parting words. Reluctantly, Schaer steps forward and clears his throat. We all thought he was going to say something profound when he said, "Love your neighbor" he paused and said, "but wear a condom."



Veill, now that Zok's gone, the stylists trolls can without fear, finally concentrate on their own superficial illusions, believing themselves to be designers.

I was blessed to be one of his students.

How is Barbara?