Oversaw the design of more than 3000 products


ROBERT PATAKI April 13, 1948-May 16, 2024

Robert Pataki’s recent death saw the passing of a legend in the design industry. He was a practising designer for more than 50 years and contributed significantly to the profession during this time, designing and overseeing the design of more than 3000 products.

Born in Hungry in 1948, his family fled the country in 1956 during the revolution and spent a year in a displaced persons camp before migrating to Australia in 1957. He attended Elwood High School and eventually graduated in industrial design at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 1972.

His first job was at John Holland Construction. During his career he worked with major industries such as Crown Beco Lighting, Philips, in Australia and later in the Netherlands, ACI Design Centre, and then as general manager and design director of PA Consulting Australia.

In 1987, Pataki created the Neo Group of Companies, including NeoTechnics, the largest industrial design consultancy in the southern hemisphere, with offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Singapore. He worked in many Asian countries and established NeoProducts Pty Ltd in 1989 to produce electronics and manufacturing.

His area of expertise covered appliances, professional, medical and technical equipment, home wares, packaging and graphic design. Some of his iconic designs include the Kambrook power board, the world’s first multiple-plug adapter, and the Britax Rainsford Safe-n-Sound Baby Capsule (with Phillip Slattery), which won an Australian Design Award and Design Council Selection in 1985, and the Prince Philip Prize for Australian Design in 1986.

Over the decades Pataki’s firms PA Consulting (1982-1987), Neo Technics (1987-1996), Neo Products (1989-1996) and Neo Design Synergy (1996-1998) have designed appliances, professional and technical equipment, homewares, packaging and graphic design for major industrial companies including Motorola, Philips, Black & Decker, Vulcan, Varian, Honeywell, GE, Kambrook and Fisher & Paykel.

Design guru Robert Pataki.

Design guru Robert Pataki.

Pataki was a member of the Design Institute of Australia and served on the Victorian council, and then national council, as company secretary and then as treasurer.

He was active on the course advisory committee of industrial design at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and later chairman of the course advisory committee at Monash University.



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